Are we ready for a New Zimbabwe?

I understand that people are concerned as to what is going to happen now Mugabe has finally been ousted but I still sense an underlying feeling of better the devil we knew than a new unknown President that could be worse. I do find it incredulous.
There was this feeling for many years but surely, since the economy started going down the toilet 18 years ago, our fellow countrymen lost their farms and family’s have had to split apart and move to different parts of the world. Our countrymen have been tortured, starved, beaten, killed. We have been unable to buy basic goods in the shop at times. Our currency became worthless. The list goes on and is beyond measure and comprehension. 
Everyone fears change but it is inevitable. Mugabe was going to die in the near future anyway. Do we really think things are going to be worse? They would definitely be worse if Grace got into power as she is the real devil but this isn’t going to happen.
The most important thing is that as Zimbabweans we must not let this happen to our country again. We need to stand up before it is too late. We need to fight before it is too late. We need to learn our lesson before it is too late. Do we understand this? Are we willing to not let the next person destroy what little is left of our beautiful country? Are we going to ensure another evil dictator does not rule for the next 37 years? What will we do if it looks like it will happen again?
I know a lot of people tried to fight and I know we appreciate their efforts and courage. But what will we do different this time? We have lived in fear for so long. What is going to change now?
As Zimbabweans, we are a fiercely proud nation. We are not black and white, we are Zimbabweans. We stand together. We love our country. We love our people.
I have to admit that I am angry that Mugabe has gone now. I am angry the military finally took charge now. This should have happened 10 years ago. Why did they not stand up 10 years ago? How many Zimbabweans have suffered and died in the last 10 years? I know my parents are having a hard time. I know it is no picnic living in Zimbabwe. The truth is that faced with Mugabe’s replacement being Grace, enough was enough. But why was enough not enough 10 years ago?
Secretly I have always been prepared to be the President of Zimbabwe. And while a lot of you may find this laughable, it is purely out of love of my people and wanting to lead such a proud nation that does not deserve the suffering it has been through for so many years. It sure isn’t for money or wealth as there is none.
Zimbabweans have stood together as oppressed, now we must stand together and make sure we learn from our mistakes and look after our fellow Zimbabweans. I am so proud of our nation, I have always been proud to be second generation Zimbabwean. I want our country to once gain become the bread basket of Africa.

David Shepherd

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr David Shepherd, a much loved father and grandfather, an incredible artist and a true conservation hero. David has left an extraordinary legacy, which will continue to resonate in the work that we do at Game Rangers International-GRI. He founded the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation-DSWF in 1984, and was instrumental in establishing GRI in 2008, serving as our Patron since that time. David has been a constant source of inspiration and support to us all. He was the epitome of determination and dedication – values which we will continue to uphold in our daily efforts to conserve Zambia’s wildlife. He will always be remembered as The Man Who Loved Giants. …

May his wonderful Soul Rest in eternal Peace.

I personally have one of his paintings in our lounge. I recall going to see him give a talk at the Sheraton Hotel in Harare many years ago. Must have been in the late 1980s. I have always admired him and been a fan of his work. A truly genuine and gifted man looking after our precious wildlife.

This is his charity website –

David Shepherd was born in Hendon, north London, and is the son of Raymond Shepherd, an advertising man, and Margaret (nee Williamson), a housewife. David was sent to Stowe school, in Buckinghamshire. Regretfully, this was not money well spent as he did not achieve a lot at school and was was not a fan of rugby. “The game was compulsory at school and I was terrified of it,” Shepherd later said.

He left at the earliest opportunity and, funded by his father, travelled to Kenya to become a game warden. “I knocked on the door of the head game warden in Nairobi and said, ‘I’m here, can I be a game warden?’ I was told I wasn’t wanted. My life was in ruins.” David spent a brief period as a hotel receptionist on the Kenyan coast, until returning to the UK. He met by chance a jobbing artist named Robin Goodwin, who took Shepherd on as an assistant at his studio in Chelsea, west London, where the bread and butter came from painting portraits and marine subjects.

Read more here

$40m lost to bank queues every month in Zimbabwe

$40m lost to bank queues every month as ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) fines gobble 76% of the withdrawn cash.

About $40 million is lost every month as wages paid to unproductive workers who spend most of their time in bank queues as a result of the incessant cash shortages while most of the withdrawn money is spent on police fines, a new report by the Industrial Psychological Consultants (IPC) shows.

zimbabwe republic police

The 2017 IPC research, Productivity losses as a result of Bank Queues, was designed to find out productivity loses caused by bank queues currently being experienced countrywide as the government struggles to contain an acute cash shortage.

A total of 1 062 people, 62, 3% male and 37.7% female, participated in the survey.

According to the report, 76,98% indicated that they use a bank account to receive their salaries, 2, 23% for savings while 17,35% said they used their accounts to pay expenses with 3,44% not specifying what they used the accounts for.

The respondents said they visited banks instead of using other forms of payment because of landlords who demand cash, to pay for transport, domestic workers who do not have bank accounts, service providers and shops in town who demand cash only and for children’s pocket money.

“On average, employees are spending 2, 5 hours every time they visit the bank every week,” the report noted.

“This roughly translates into $40 million lost in wages paid to employees who are not productive every month using a median wage of $520 per month.”

The report noted that if the cash shortages continue at the current rate more money will be lost every year through unproductive wages.

“It is interesting to note that police fines (76.80%) take away most of the cash people withdraw from the banks, followed by domestic workers and facial and hair treatment,” the report noted.

IPC also concluded that authorities need to create a conducive environment to allow ordinary people and businesses to take their money for banking.

“No sane person would go and bank $100 cash which they would struggle to get from the bank when they need it. It is that simple,” noted the report.

“On alternative forms of payments the authorities would need to double their effort as most people especially the landlords and commuter omnibuses prefer cash for payment of rentals and transport fares.

(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

“Why is this category of service providers not accepting alternative forms of payments? The demand of cash will significantly go down if the authorities can persuade landlords, the police, transport services providers and business in the SME sector to accept other forms of payment. It would seem the problem is not the shortage of payment platforms but resistance and the need to have cash.”

If you live in Zimbabwe, how are you coping with this situation?


Is it really all worth it?

I’m not scared of death because I know when I die all my problems stop. No more stress, no more problems. Win win. I also know that because I find life challenging the Universe will ensure that I live for a very, very long time! Sods law.


You look at the big picture and have a think about what life consists of. Constant battles every day dealing with people and companies letting you down and trying to rip you off. People taking advantage of your good nature.

Large companies are the worst to deal with. You try make a complaint to Facebook, Google, BT or Starbucks? Irrespective of company size, the first rule of making a complaint is that whoever you are complaining to needs to care. Otherwise its a waste of time. Microsoft took some money from us and never delivered what we paid for. It took about 5 months to get to the bottom of the issue. Why? Because companies, are still made up of people who are crap at their jobs, don’t take ownership or are held back by weak company policies. And the aim of the organisation is to make ridiculous profit. Not to serve their customers. We tried to deal with IBM about a year ago and eventually gave up. Never come across so many self important, incompetent people who simply fail to deliver or answer questions. Make no mistake, there are a few good people around but the majority are corporate wastage.

Large corporations and banks completely taking the piss and basically doing what ever they want to get more money by any means necessary. Food companies, deliberately producing food that causes cancer in order to make a profit. Doctors apparently having people treated for cancer when they don’t have cancer purely to make a profit. Companies like Wonga charging people who have very little money 2000% interest on loans and the Government allowing them to get away with it. Wonga then getting hacked and having 240 000 people’s details stolen with no recourse.

Doctors used to have a sales rep from a drugs company in the room while prescribing drugs to patients. The sales rep would get the doctor to prescribe their drug rather than a competitor’s drug for profit. Drugs companies taking doctors out to lunch and for holidays in order to get more sales. Ever notice that Pharmaceutical companies only ever talk about profit and share price. They never talk about a drug and how many lives it will save and how many people it will make better. It all comes down to profit. Funny how after the patent runs out, they bring out a new replacement drug and tell you how bad the previous drug now is and the new one is the best one available. Lets not even get into false  drug trials.

I am still amazed how surprised everyone was when they discovered that FIFA and Sepp Blatter was so corrupt. You only have to look at the organisation. Logically, when there are only a few people at the head of a very large organisation and there is a high amount of money involved, there will be corruption. Why? Because it is human nature. Everyone is trying to get ahead however they can. Money and power. Is it taking a short cut or is it just the way of the world? The way the world works? Its who you know, who you will help personally so they will help your organisation get a contract. We look at football and there are no drugs scandals. Is this because there are no drugs in football? Just how stupid and naive do you have to be to believe that? Its impossible for there to be so much at stake in terms of hard cash and contracts and careers and everything else that goes with it for performance enhancing drugs and corruption to not exist.

Russia got busted for a national doping program.Its been happening for 50 years for crying out loud. If not longer. And do you for one second think that Russia is the only country not involved in state sponsored doping?

My point is that human beings by their very nature are just not very nice creatures. We don’t see a fellow unknown human being as a person with problems and challenges. We just see them as either a potential threat or someone in the way or someone to make money out of. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog world. What is actually nice in the world? What is nice about being part of the human race?

We see very rare moments of compassion by a few. Humans caring for animals that are desperate for our help. Poor people with nothing helped by another selfless human being. Are these incidents rare or the norm? Do they happen all the time but we don’t see it or are they indeed few and far between. We treat the few special people on our planet with such contempt and jealousy and we break them down.

We see a cyclist on the road and we try to scare them or run them off the road because they can hinder our journey by 10 seconds. So essentially, someone else’s life is worth 10 seconds. I was running on the road the other day and some stupid wanker in a small white truck deliberately swerved towards me to try and run me off the road. I held my ground and he had to desperately had to swerve the other way. What is going through his head? Is there a thought process? When we are in a car we are so desperate to get to our destination that we don’t care about who we kill on route to getting there. And it has nothing to do with cyclists or runners. It is just a mind set against anyone else on the road.

People don’t consider consequences. If I do this what happens next? If I kill this person, I go to jail and loose everything I have today. Their little brains don’t process this kind of information.

So what is good in the world? Obviously our children and partners make us smile. We get pleasure from doing things we enjoy doing but a lot of people have a job they hate and spend most of their life doing something they don’t enjoy with people they don’t like in order to get a small amount of time and material things in return. Is it really worth all the effort?

Is it any wonder so many people suffer from depression? Not only do people suffer mental illness but we can’t even talk about it. I remember a famous English cricketer was playing away in Australia and had to come home due to suffering depression. I heard everyone talking about how on earth can he be depressed. He is doing what he loves and playing for his country. The problem with depression is that you can only understand it if you have it or have had it. Otherwise it is very difficult to relate.

What inspired me to write this outburst was the Royal family choosing “Heads Together” as the charity for the 2017 London marathon. It is slowly coming to the fore but I think we have a very long way to go. The whole problem is that admitting you suffer with some kind of mental illness is that you are weak. You have a weakness. And humans prey on the weak so you have to be strong and angry all the time.  I have a few friends that suffer quite badly with depression and I am so proud of them that they can talk openly about their depression and mental challenges. They get a lot of support fro their friends on Facebook but i can’t help feeling that people that don’t know them would have zero empathy. Would just see them as weak and a target.

I listened to a podcast the other day (UFC Unfiltered). They were talking to a guy called Don Frye who is a former legend of the mixed martial arts fight game. Now 51, he has had some pretty serious health issues last year and a horrendous divorce. However, the guys on the podcast asked him where he is living and he was silent for a moment before saying, “In my truck”. It was a stunning admission. And yet it was so brave and honest that he could admit that. Its a fight with depression coming from a no fear cage fighter. I realise that living in a truck doesn’t automatically mean you suffer from depression but it was discussed and you have got to have a pretty strong mind to be happily living in your truck at 51 years old.

So whats the answer?

Everything is Mindset. Convincing yourself that everything is good with the world, that everything is going well, that you are fine. While it actually works and makes a huge difference to your life, I can’t help feeling that it is false. People indulge in other activities to escape the reality of the world. Gaming all hours, drinking, over eating, drugs, partying, the list goes on. I left out exercise because as at least it is healthy but it can still be a selfish obsession. But what is life? Perhaps it is all those things. Perhaps it is working to get money to do all those things. Its when it leads to self destruction that it becomes a problem.

We have to have a purpose in life, a goal, a journey. An ever changing goal so that we strive for the next target. Stay motivated. Constantly pushing and pushing, never taking our foot off the gas while others round us never put their foot on the gas in the first place. How do some people have no time at all to do anything while others have all the time in the world and still don’t do anything. Its all about your mindset and what drives you.

Often the most successful people are those who have been the lowest. They have been addicted to drugs or alcohol or both. They had absolutely nothing. And then, something clicked in their mind and they stood up and went for it. Did whatever it took and became hugely successful and a multi millionaire.

The most positive person in the world has no arms or legs but the strongest mindset of all. Nick Vujicic

Like many of my friends in Zimbabwe where I grew up, I arrived in the UK with not a lot. A small bag with some clothes and £200. Got to London and tried to phone two friends I couldn’t get hold of. I was on my own in a whole new world. I had heard of Earls Court so just headed there. I think a lot of people head over there as there was a guy at the station entrance looking for little lost faces. He said there was a place I could stay just up the road. A large house with about 4 or 5 floors and 6 people to a room. I think it was £10 a night or something. I’ve also been at a point where I had only £10 in my account a few years later. Only had enough money to drive from Bristol to Coventry to my friend’s house. I’m just not a multi-millionaire yet!

So I have constant drive and huge ambition but i still find it very difficult living in a world filled with selfish hate. And that doesn’t even touch of people living in war torn countries like Syria. We can not imagine what people living there are going through. I met a really nice guy from Syria. He had to leave his job and go back home as the family business needed him. The factory had been bombed and they had paid a huge amount of money for some equipment that had not been delivered.

I find it incredible how people can treat others as just a number and meal ticket. People will set up a whole organisation to sell a sub standard product and service but tie people into a 12 month contract. Huge global organisations, lying blatantly about how many customers they have. Companies like Solarwinds (nable) who I am sure is run by the Devil himself. And what can we do about it? We can complain bitterly on social media but nothing ever happens.

I spend my life trying to evolve, become a better person, become more understanding. To think bigger than myself. To help people. But I do wonder if I have it all wrong. Perhaps being a human being means I should just selfishly seek profit at any cost. Just look after number one. Ruthlessly go after what I want. Not have any morals. Lie, cheat and bribe my way to the top of society. Destroy those that get in my way. Whats the best way to live in this tough world?

Hyena Release Update – Kariba


HYENA –  MR BONES – 3 WEEKS of confinement, care and fattening up !!

See the KAWFT face book for video updates – the last few days videos still to be posted.


DAY 5 – 12/2/17

Skinny bean. Ate a kg of liver during the night ON HIS OWN, drank a litre of milk and water and was sitting FOR THE FIRST TIME on his haunches in the morning and early evening when it is normal wake up time – STANDING and moving on wobbly legs, drinking plenty of water/mild mix and carefully eating his way through his chopped up meat.

Battles to chew if the pieces of meat are not cut into slithers due to the weeks of the large wire cable in and across the back of his jaws. So, a delicate eater at the moment but the daily improvements to his health and strength are momentous.

DAY 7 & 8 – 14&15 /2/17

Smelly shredded fun foam out and grass in. Not so much fun but cleaner and comfy. Improvement continues. Copious amounts of water drinking all the time, good re-hydration and eating well.

DAY 8 – 15/2/17

Improving in leaps and bounds but has a long way to go before fit for release.  Does not want to wake up. Cool afternoon and nice and soooooo comfy.


DAY 10 – 17/2/17

Back, pelvis wound where all the maggots were !!! healing very well despite the way it looks.

DAY 17- 24/2/17

Fat belly and amassing weight. Large chunks of meat now, that he rips apart himself

DAY – 18 & 19

Photos taken of main wounds and sent to Dr’s Keith Dutlow and Lisa Maribini Aware Trust – to ascertain if all well enough to take this boy back home !!

DAY 22  1/3/17– HOMEWARD BOUND !! patient discharge day.

Cage with Mr Bones loaded onto the trailer.  Parks Rangers No.2’s –  Nicholas Chinembiri and Edward on site.

Cage covered with old sheets to avoid too much stress for him whilst travelling out of the Kariba area.

Mr Bones – as Hyenas do – shreds the sheets in no time and then manages to get under the steel sheet on the floor of the cage.
Convoy comes to a halt whilst everyone assists to lift the steel sheet up and secure it up with wire, keeping fingers outside of the cage !!!


Cage lifted off ….. every ones fingers still intact !

The door to freedom opens and he just sits !!


Another vehicle arrives and whilst we are trying to halt the vehicle so it does not drive into Mr Bones when he walks out the cage ………………………….

He makes a high-speed dash for it and this is the only photo we luckily managed to get  !! A FLASH IN THE DARK and he is gone.

First run he has had in 3 weeks.. !!


Please keep a look out for Mr Bones, his scars will be a sure ID of him and we would appreciate any feedback and photos if possible. (see contact details bottom)   Next year we may even see his progeny – little bones.


Thank you to

Parks Area Manager and Rangers,

Aware Trust Vets

Kariba Residents – reporting and help

KAWFT team

and all those that assisted with the rehabilitation of this boy


        DONATIONS & assistance very kindly received_and much appreciated – THANK YOU


Amazing response to our plea for assistance – from within Kariba, Zimbabwe and afar.

We will be putting in place, first a critical rehabilitation unit – where the likes of Mr Bones would “get well” and then another for the likes of the snared young Lion for a few days recuperation to make sure all is well before heading back into the wild.

This is only due to the amazing support received and that we are still receiving.

HUGE assistance to the Rehab Units to be built.




KOALA PARK Butchery – Meat



CRISPY FRESH – Transport




























For any donations, help offer, more info, or information on injured animals or incidents with Wildlife please contact below


Phone numbers

Sonya Mc Master  0772 874 352 – KARIBA

Debbie Ottman  0773 996 487- KARIBA

Dick Mc Cowan Hill 0772 600 187 – KARIBA


WHATSAPP  NUMBERS -for photos or messages

Debbie Ottman 0784 512 921

Sonya Mc Master 0778 733 784


Tracey BrukJackson – Harare representative

(contact for donation drop offs etc.)

Whats app 0771 567 032

Phone number 0712 205 384







Sonya Mc Master (Registered Name – Stroebel) 0772 874 352

Debbie Ottman  0773 996 487





ACC No: 100 265 7636


Report injured animals, suspected poaching etc – contact details


ZIMPARKS AREA MANAGER  –  Mr D Sithole 0775 971 799  

ZIMPARKS SENIOR RANGER Nicholas – 0772 762 500

Toll free – ZIMPARKS AREA MANAGER –  Mr D Sithole – 0738 813 441


Sonya Mc Master  0772 874 352 – KARIBA

Dick Mc Cowan Hill 0772 600 187 – KARIBA

Debbie Ottman  0773 996 487– KARIBA


WHATSAPP  NUMBERS -for photos or messages

Sonya Mc Master 0778 733 784

Debbie Ottman 0784 512 921