spider falls from the sun visor

A 38 year old doctor panicked when a spider dropped on her lap as she was driving her car causing an accident that led to the death of an elderly motorist.


spider falls from sun visor

Dr Amy Elizabeth Walpole, was driving her red Mazda MX5 and went into panic when the spider fell from the sun visor. The GP was seen waving her arms frantically before smashing into the oncoming car of 87-year-old John Evans, Llanelli magistrates court was told.

The prosecution, Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, said: “Walpole explained that a spider had dropped from her sun-visor and landed in her lap. With her fear of spiders, she went into a panic as she tried to throw the spider out the car. With this distraction, the doctor drifted across the road causing the collision.”

John Allchurch, in mitigation, said Walpole was arachnophobic. “It was a large spider which she was terrified of and tried to flick out of the window,” he said.

John Evans, the eighty seven year old driver of the other vehicle, suffered fractures and damage to his heart in the collision. He was able to walk from his car to an ambulance but unfortunately died the next day.

Dr Walpole, of Penymynydd, near Llanelli, south Wales, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. David Powells, the presiding judge banned Walpole from driving for twelve months and ordered her to carry out 80 hours of community service.

The judge said that they were dealing with a tragic accident. However, the witness account of seeing the doctor’s arms waving around when the spider dropped was consistent with what she had said and her arachnophobia.

He went on to say there were no aggravating circumstances. The family of John Evans had asked for Walpole to be dealt with leniently as they were aware of her good reputation as a GP in the area. “This is not a case for prison, it is a case for a community order,” David Powells went on to say.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

The acting Environment Minister, Walter Mzembi has stated that Zimbabwe will not be deterred from exporting 62 baby elephants to China, France and the United Arab Emirates. The Minister said that Zimbabwe has in excess of 80 000 elephants but only has the capacity for 42 000.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force does not believe this figure is accurate because a proper count hasn’t been done since 1997 so no one knows exactly how many elephants there are. A count was done in Hwange National Park late last year which resulted in a figure of 22 000 elephants however, the elephants do not live there all year round. Hwange has the highest concentration in the country.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Mr Mzembi stated that the reason for the worldwide outcry about the exportation is political and that the people who are objecting don’t want Zimbabwe to make any money. Really? I think it is fair to say the rest of the rest doesn’t give a toss about Zimbabwe and is certainly not bothered if they make money. However, there is meek objection to Government officials making vast fortunes by raping and pillaging whats left of the country.

The Zimbabwe Government recently received a letter from 31 tourist agents in America who stated that if the exportation goes ahead, they will not be bringing any tourists to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

In a new survey released last month, it showed that the elephant population has decreased by more than 40% in the Zambezi Valley, Matusadona and Chizarira areas. The survey is a partnership between the Great Elephant Census, a Mr Paul Gardner Allen Project and the Parks and Wildlife Authority.

A full professional count needs to be done. Every year in the hot season, elephants come into Zimbabwe from Botswana and Zambia to look for water in Hwange National Park. Therefore, all the elephants in the park are not Zimbabwean elephants and do not live there all year round. However, it appears that the counts are always done in the hot season.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force pointed out that the count should be done in winter and simultaneous counts should be done in the surrounding countries of Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia. We would then get a much clearer indication of the true elephant population in the whole region.

Naturally Elephants and other wildlife do not respect western borders and go through passport control etc.

From reports, a total of 27 baby elephants would be sent to China, while 15 would be sent to the UAE and a further 20 would be taken to France, with each buyer paying a £26,000 for each animal.

Speaking to the press and all other ignorant and stupid people, Mzembi said: “Our habitat is not designed to carry too many elephants that are in its environment. We have an over-population of elephants.”

The Zimbabwe government announced in December 2014 that due to an ever expanding population of elephants, (despite no official count since 1997) it would begin a programme of exportation of elephants from Hwange National Park to try and control the numbers of elephants.

There has be no mention of what would happen to the money form the sale of all the elephants and other wildlife to foreign buyers?

Zimbabwe Minister Defends export of baby elephants

Both the government and Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife authorities said that the step had to be made to ensure the country’s elephant population does not grow any bigger citing that the elephants where consuming and destroying the environment and food sources for other species.

The truth of the situation is that the exportation has involved young animals being violently taken away from their mothers and then exported in tough conditions to unfamiliar surroundings.

In a statement on Peta’s website they said: “These innocent and terrified babies have been traumatically stolen from their families and their natural habitat, only to be sold to the highest bidder and sentenced to a life of abuse and captivity.”

Going back to 2012, 4 baby elephants died after being shipped to China from Zimbabwe, which prompted the US and European Union to sign a petition against the exportation of baby elephants from Zimbabwe.

As with any petitions and statements, this has been ignored by the Zimbabwe Government who has argued that they are currently suffering from a conservation funding crisis and that the funds appropriated from the sale of the elephants would be used to help with conservation efforts. There is no proof the funds have gone in this direction?

Speaking on 6 January, Water and Climate Committee chairperson, Anastacia Ndlovu, , said: “The selling off of live elephants will enable the wildlife authority to raise enough funds to protect the jumbos and other wildlife.”

More Info:

Previous post on China stealing baby elephants

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Email: galorand@mweb.co.zw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585
Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org 

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

‘Girl bomber’ kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

‘Girl bomber’ kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market


Nineteen people have been killed and several more injured by a bomb strapped to a girl who was apparently only 10 years old in north-eastern Nigeria.

The bomb exploded in a market in the city of Maiduguri.

“The explosive devices were wrapped around her body,” a police source told Reuters.

So far, the market has been targeted twice in a week by female bombers. Local correspondents indicated that all the signs of the attack point to the militant Islamist Boko Haram group.

Boko Haram have been fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Nigerian north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

The recent bomb attack follows heavy fighting in the Yobe state capital Damaturu on Friday night, with a large number of buildings destroyed as well as innocent civilian casualties.

An assault on the town of Baga on Wed left hundreds of people dead, following on their seizure of a key military base there on the 3rd January.

Amnesty International described the attack as possibly the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram – with bodies apparently left strewn in the surrounding bush.

Unfortunately most victims in the recent Baga attack were children, women and elderly people unable to escape quickly enough when Boko Haram insurgents raided the town by firing rocket-propelled grenades and using high powered assault rifles.

Boko Haram has forcefully taken control of many towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria during 2014.

'Girl bomber' kills 19 people in Maiduguri market

The conflict has forced over 1.5 million people to flee their homes, while more than 2,000 were killed last year.

Borno State police spokesman Gideon Jubrin said that the 10 year old young girl bomber let off an improvised explosive device near the area of the Maiduguri market where chickens were sold. It is also possibly the bomb was remotely detonated.

The BBC’s Abdulahi Kaura correspondent in Lagos said that this will not be the first suicide bombing involving young girls, part of a new strategy intended to capitalise on the fact that people in the Muslim-dominated north are less suspicious of women.

This could have massive and far reaching repercussions in the entire world as muslim woman will come under significantly more scrutiny especially with the traditional burka.

In further violence reported on Saturday a vehicle in Yobe state exploded at a checkpoint near a police station, killing at least two people.

Female Suicide Bombers

Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram is accused of unleashing a new weapon of war – the female suicide bomber, fuelling concern that its insurgency has entered a more ruthless phase.

4 teenage girls carried out attacks in the biggest northern city, Kano, last week, which has led to speculation that Boko Haram had turned some of the 200 schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 into human bombs.

Mike Omeri, a government official said the security forces had arrested three people in neighbouring Katsina state – including two girls aged 10 and 18 – with explosive belts strapped around them.

The new strategy kicked off last June with Nigeria’s first female bomber – a middle-aged woman who rode a motorcycle into a military barracks in the north-eastern city of Gombe. She killed a soldier who was searching her at the checkpoint and she detonated her device.

“To use female suicide bombers is the most dramatic strategy that an organisation can use. It becomes easier to penetrate targets because we are less suspicious about women,” Martin Ewi, a researcher with South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told the BBC.

When you have female suicide bombers, the security challenge becomes bigger – it means you need female officers at every check-point to search women”

“It also shows desperation – and tends to be the last card that an organisation plays. But we don’t know whether Boko Haram has reached that stage, or whether it has decided to play the card early,” he adds.

Boko Haram violence is over its negotiations with the Nigerian Government to get their commanders released in exchange for the freedom of the abducted schoolgirls they took back in April.

Boko Haram has now carried out 11 suicide bombings – by men and women – since launching its insurgency in 2009, which indicates they’re copying the tactics of jihadi groups in other war torn, muslim based countries.

5 Recent suicide bomber attacks

  • 8 June: A woman rides into a military barracks in Gombe on a motorbike, she detonates an explosive killing herself and a policeman
  • 27 July: A young girl with an explosive device concealed under her veil blows herself up injuring five police officers at a university campus in Kano,
  • 28 July: A young woman lines up in a kerosene queue at a filling station in Kano. She kills 3 people and wounds 16 others after detonating her bomb.
  • 28 July: Six people are injured after a young woman detonates her bomb at a shopping centre in Kano
  • 30 July: Another six people are killed when a teenager blows herself up in a crowd of students at a college campus in Kano.

The Future of Zimbabwe?

The Future of Zimbabwe

And so another year starts, 2015 and another year that Robert Mugabe is in Power since 18th of April 1980. Interestingly, he is on the top 15th longest standing dictator. Fidel Castro leading the list at 52 years in power.

The Future of Zimbabwe

Let me first say I am no expert but I am passionate about my country, I felt little choice but to leave back in 1999. Many of my friends left at the same time and are scattered around the globe. My parents still live in Harare, my brother in SA. Below, I have a few questions and observations about Zimbabwe;

The first question is, do we want Mugabe in power for the next 20 years? I suspect he shan’t survive 20 years however, I think you get my point?

The Future of Zimbabwe

The next question is what will he do in the next, lets say 10 years? Will it be anything positive? When was the last time Mugabe did something positive, inspirational or useful?

It would appear his recent introduction of coins that are supposed to be the same value as the US Dollar is a prelude to an attempt to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar and perhaps even start it off matching it to the US Dollar as per the coins? A few think this is rubbish and will never happen but I have seen this reported on more than one site and lets face it, Mugabe is a man who does what he wants. And as time goes on he is realising more and more than the West is willing to do less and less to oppose him. And why should they?

The Future of Zimbabwe

What has Zimbabwe got to offer or barter with the rest of the world? We have no oil and China is currently raping the minerals from the land daily, while even wild animals are being sold abroad to various countries for personal profit to Government officials (apparently)

If we go back to 2000, 15 years ago Zimbabwe still had a lot going for it but it was starting to rapidly drop off. She always had strong tourism throughout the country, one of the world’s foremost tobacco suppliers to the entire world. Exporting fresh produce around the world (I worked for Selby Enterprises doing this back in 97)


Harare – Capital of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has always had a strong mining background especially for gold. I worked for Fawcetts Security who collected gold from a number of mines around the country. I actually went on a few gold collection runs to Mutare. We would leave at 4am and be back just after lunch.

I understand Robert kindly sold off various mineral rights to the Chinese for 10 years a number of years ago. The real repercussions of this, i am not sure? However, what I do know is that this will not benefit Zimbabwe or it’s people or it’s economy.

victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Neither shall of the loss and private sale of her wild life (baby elephants and lions and so on) be of any benefit to a country being raped and pillaged year after year.

When I was 10 years old (1986), I knew nothing was going to change in Zimbabwe. My dad was adamant that things would turn around, the US was waiting for Mugabe to dethrone and then they would sweep in and save the day and everything would be great. However, i knew that things were already not great, things we already desperate, even that long ago but nobody was doing anything about it. i knew then, the only way forward was it if did something. If I for example and hypothetically picked up a gun and shot Robbie myself would there be any change.

Matobo Hills

Matobo Hills

And sure enough, almost thirty years later, nothing has changed, apart from the fact that things have got progressively worse and worse and then beyond worse. And still, the people of Zimbabwe sit and wait.

But what can we do I hear you ask? Well, this indeed is the question. What can we do and what are we willing to do?

I would be willing to stand for President but I am probably not the best person for the job and my family is there and I would be concerned for their safety. I am not Political by any stretch, I say things how they are and how I see them.

So what are our options really?

Other African countries seem to have a degree of success by having new Government leaders elected who have been educated in top Western Universities like Standford, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge. Is there a highly educated, black individual who would be able to elected?

Would Mugabe even allow this or would our new knight in shinning armour suddenly hit a black dog crossing the road in the middle of the night? The driver would probably survive if thats any consolation?

The biggest challenge would not be a single man called Robert Mugabe but the multitude of powerful people in the background keeping him in power. It is the people we don’t see that are making sure Mugabe stays in power for as long as he does they will remain powerful and will reap the vast financial benefits of having a President in their back pocket.

great zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

The quest to make any kind of change is indeed a substantial one but do we make a stand or do we look on, helpless and unable to do anything and watch what is left of our beautiful country be pillaged bare?

There are a lot of clever and able people in the world, surely we can come up with creative ideas for a solution to countries being ruled by a dictator for decades?