11th March 03:35
The Plot to Kill Mugabe - Episode 2
Episode 2 - In Which Taffy Decides to Blow Mr. Mugabe Up
I thought for a few moments and shook my head. The war had
escalated so much during the past year, that everyone I knew who
was likely to be suitable, was already committed in the forces.
There was one man, I suddenly remembered, Angus Monro. We had
served in the same troop in "A" Squadron 22-SAS. We had been
through a lot together in the old days and were still good
friends. He was living in Salisbury. I doubted that many
people, except for myself and a few others, knew or even guessed
he had served in the British SAS. A bloody fine soldier he had
been, too. I doubted he'd bothered to mention his SAS
connections to anyone.
While the vast majority of former British SAS men coming to Rhodesia
had ended up joining the Rhodesian SAS, Angus had
remained a civilian.
Angus had the unlikely job of sub-accountant with a Salisbury bank. We
met occasionally and had a few beers together.
He had said, quite firmly, when leaving the British Army with an
excellent record, that he had no intention of becoming a regular
soldier again. He had kept his word.
When compulsory call-ups for his age group had commenced, he'd
become a Police Reservist, performing such mundane duties as
guarding police stations and bridges out in the bush.
He had never complained about the duties he had to do, but that
was Angus. Nevertheless, like me, he was now Rhodesian. I knew
he wouldn't be able to resist coming in with me. Few Rhodesians
"Do you think he'll agree?" Ricky May asked doubtfully. "From
what you've said, he's put all those sort of things behind him."
"He'll agree," I said emphatically. "He's as fit as a fiddle,
too. A real tough little Scotsman."
"All right then," Ricky May said reluctantly. "If he agrees then
it's okay. You mustn't, however, tell him anything about the
operation. Just tell him you need to practise with him."
"No," I said firmly, "I can't do that. I'll have to tell him the
complete story. I won't be able to hold anything back, because
I'll probably need him with me when the time comes."
Ricky May and Colonel Joe both seemed dismayed, so I hurredly
"Don't worry, he won't say a word."
"I hope not," sighed Ricky May. "Is that all then?"
"No," I said, "there's more. I need a quartermaster ... someone
who can get me the things I need. Do any running around that's
necessary. I am also likely to require access to experts in
various fields ... poisons, ballistics, explosives and so on."
"Explosives?" said Colonel Joe in surprise. "I thought you knew
most of what was needed to be known."
"We're talking about Britain," I said. "I can't just pack high
explosives into my bag and go there. This would be foolhardy in
the extreme. It is difficult, almost impossible, to home
manufacture high explosives, such as TNT, pentolite and so on.
I need someone to advise me on the making of low explosives.
I don't have the time to read up such things. That's why I must
have experts to talk things over with. I can't afford to make
"I take it you ae thinking of making explosives from dieseline and
ammonium nitrate and that sort of thing, are you?" asked Colonel Joe.
"Yes," I smiled, "that sort of thing, as you say, but it isn't so
easy as it sounds. Since the upswing of international terrorism,
almost every country has compelled manufacturers to add a
stabilising agent to ammonium nitrate. You can attempt to mix it
into an explosive until you go blue in the face, but you won't
get a bang. First of all, you need to remove the stabilising
agent. To achieve that, you use a number of cleansing processes,
ending with the very chancy one of baking it to get out the final
impurities. The result, when you've finished, is pure explosive.
"Producing it is a dangerous business ... as many an IRA Paddy
O'Reilly has discovered to his cost in Ireland ... when his oven
has gone through the kitchen ceiling ... and him along with it."
Ricky May told me he would place Billy Sweetman at my disposal as
quartermaster. I knew Billy quite well, he was ex-Rhodesian SAS
and was in "insurance" with the CIO. He said he would think
about the rest of the experts I needed.
"Let me know what Angus Monro says," Ricky May mentioned as we parted.
I telephoned Angus at the bank.
"I need an overdraft," I said.
"Join the bloody queue," he replied in his broad Scots' accent.
I met him for a drink when he had finished work.
"I've got a contract from the government," I told him bluntly.
Angus was not a man to beat around the bush with. "It will be
just like the old days, except we will do all the planning
together without outside interference. It involves killing
someone ... when the actual killing takes place, it is possible
I will do it on my own. On the other hand, it could well be
necessary for you to be there."
"Sounds pretty interesting, Taffy," he said without hesitation.
"Who do we knock off and where do we do it?"
"Robert Mugabe is the target ... Lancaster House in London is the
Angus jumped at the chance.
I warned him of the possible consequences he might have to face
if caught in London, but he shrugged it off.
On top of that, banking could play second fiddle for a while.
I told him I needed his British passport and vaccinations
certificates, so they could be laundered by the CIO, so we went
to his house and collected them. I handed his do***ents,
together with mine, to Colonel Joe the next day. Mine were
clean. My passport showed Zambian, South African and British
stamps only. Angus' had some stamp marks made by Rhodesian
passport control. The CIO cleaning process would ensure they
The next day, Saturday 1st September 1979, I again met Colonel
Joe and Ricky May. I told them that everything was in order so
far as Angus Monro was concerned. I told them I had considered
the matter and believed it essential we both go to London.
I went on to say it was vital we travel there to carry out a pre-
conference reconnaissance before the participants arrived. Once
they did, tight security would be installed.
"Our information," explained Ricky May, "is that the SAS are to be
involved in the security arrangements ... for instance, you can
expect snipers on the rooftops of Lancaster House."
"If that's true, it makes getting there before everyone else
arrives an even greater priority," I said. "We must look things
over as soon as possible, as time will be of the essence. It is
reasonable to assume that at least some of the parties involved
will get there early to confer with advisers and to renew
contacts and friendships before the talks start. We must also be
prepared for the eventuality of the talks breaking down during
the early stages. If they do, the target will leave London early
and head for his rat's nest in Mozambique. I believe we should
be there by the 7th September at the latest."
"That does not give you much time," said Colonel Joe.
"Not much time," I agreed.
"We have laid on some experts for you," Ricky May said. "There's
Sam Roberts, a brilliant agricultural research chemist and
undoubtedly the greatest authority on exotic poisons in Rhodesia."
"What about explosives people?" I asked.
"We've got you two excellent army blokes ... the best ... Major
Simon Anthony and Lieutenant Jack Butcher. They'll know nothing
of what you're up to and nor will Sam Roberts. You'll be
introduced to them as Taffy. They've been ordered to extend you
the fullest cooperation and to ask no questions."
"I also require an electronics expert to sort me out an initiating
device. I have in mind one designed around the control box and
receiver of a model aircraft. It is a hobby line ... so
possession of them wouldn't arouse suspicions."
"I'll find someone," promised Ricky May.
Tomorrow's Exciting Episode Taffy Visits the CIO PoisonsLaboratory