Charles Anderson, H’77

Charles Thomas Tetley Anderson

24th July 1958 – 2nd June 2002

Charles Anderson, (Hervey 1977) Tragically murdered in 2002

Charles “Andy” Anderson (Hervey 1977) was murdered on his farm in the Glendale area of Zimbabwe on 2nd June 2002.

Those of us who remember “Andy” from Falcon days recall him to be amongst other things a great long distance runner, rugby player, boxer (unofficial) and general all round sportsman. All the while he was at Falcon Andy also secretly carried a dyslexic affliction which did not greatly help his academic studies. His keen sense of pride kept anyone from knowing of this disability until many years later.

His strong sense of fairness and fair play made him popular with many a Falcon junior, rescued just in time by him from the unfair treatment traditionally meted out by seniors at the school. His enthusiastic interest in bee-keeping almost led him to revive the flagging fortunes of the school’s bee keeping society and under the guidance of teacher Frank Reid placed it on a near commercial footing. He always expressed a keen interest in the outdoors, often joining us chaps from Oates on lengthy bush exeats.

After we both left Falcon in 1977 he and I re-acquainted ourselves at Llewellyn Barracks, Bulawayo in January 1978 where the pressures of NS basic training led to a strengthening of our friendship.

Later he gained entry to Gwebi Agricultural College but only after he successfully won a court case against the college for initially refusing him admittance on the basis of his dyslexia. He completed his two year course and went on to continue with another of his passions; farming. It was about this time that I noticed Andy behaving strangely. At first I thought it was malaria, then premature dementia. Finally I managed, with great difficulty, to prise open his very closely kept card hand to discover he was in fact in love with a girl. That girl was Cindy; a lovely, shy girl whom he was later to marry. In those troubled times it was difficult to remember a happier couple.

Sadly, after a memorable fishing trip into the Zambezi Valley circumstances drew us apart. However, I will always remember Andy as a very determined, forthright and fair minded chap to whom an infectious sense of humour came all too easily. He will be sadly missed and his loss will only serve to sharpen and give permanence to the memories of those times we shared together.

I include a couple of news briefs about his tragic death and include a picture of Andy taken in 1983 whilst he and I were on a fishing trip on the Zambezi.

Ian Broderick – Oates 1973-77; 4th June 2002

The Funeral of Charles Thomas Tetley Anderson

24th July 1958 – 2nd June 2002

A Requiem mass was held today for the late Charles Thomas Tetley Anderson (44). Charles is survived by his wife, Cindy and sons Daniel aged 12 years and Richard aged 9 years. More than 250 fellow farmers, friends and family attended the funeral, which was held at St. George’s School Chapel. His death brings to twelve the number of commercial farms killed in Zimbabwe since the land invasions began two years ago.

Charles Anderson, a farm manager from Glendale, was shot in the head at point blank range at noon on Sunday by unknown assailants, one of whom has since been arrested. The murder weapon used was an AK47 Assault Rifle. Five spent cartridges and a live round were later recovered from the scene.

In his eulogy, Mr. Roy Guthrie, the farm owner described Charles Anderson as a family man. “He had a zest for life which demonstrated itself in his love of physical sports, outdoor life and hunting – making farming a way of life for himself and his family.” said Guthrie.

Charles Anderson was born in Harare. He attended Falcon College (Matabeleland) where he enjoyed all sports and developed an interest in bee keeping. He enjoyed nothing more than giving friends jars of the honey which he harvested and bottled. Anderson was a very practical, hands-on man – doing much of the repairs and maintenance on the farm himself. He enjoyed carpentry and loved to build model aircraft. Richard, his 9-year-old son, described him as cheerful and always wanting to change things for the better.

Charles Anderson was by all accounts a people’s person – he was always eager to respond to cries for help from neighbours. He will be remembered for his kindness, love and loyalty.

The circumstances behind the shooting were that the family had taken gone to the neighbouring farm where Cindy’s parents lived to collect their dogs.

When the family reached their home on that fateful day, the door of the house was open and voices could be heard. Fearing for his family’s safety, Anderson approached the house carrying a licensed hunting rifle and fired a warning shot in the hopes that this would scare the thieves away. This is evidenced by his rifle round found lodged in the wall. Anderson was shot inside the house in a narrow passage. Judging by the extent of his injury – the shot was fired at close range.

On hearing five shots, Mrs Anderson told the children to lock themselves in the vehicle while she bravely went into the house to investigate. Two people accosted her as she approached the homestead. She was told to lie down. The children were forced out of the vehicle at gunpoint and also told to lie down.

The assailants loaded the loot into the Anderson’s the vehicle and drove along the Chiweshe Communal Area road only to have an accident some 6 kilometres away. One of the assailant was then apprehended.

Anderson was employed by Guthrie for the last 19 years and had also been developing his own small farm where his parents in laws lived.

News Report 1

ONE of the alleged murderers of Charles Anderson, the commercial farmer shot dead in cold blood with an AK47 assault rifle in Mazowe/Glendale on Sunday, had earlier had an argument with the farmer.

Workers at the farm and a farmer in the area yesterday said the man visited Anderson last week, to tell him to leave his irrigation pipes on the farm.

The 378-hectare Dunmaglas of Norfolk Estate was designated under the Model A2 scheme. Anderson had reached an agreement with Ngoni Masoka, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, for a take-over of the farm.

A government notice in the Press on 3 February said Dunmaglas Farm of Norfolk Estate was now owned by Masoka.

“The information I got from the workers is that Anderson had an argument with one of the alleged murderers over irrigation pipes. The youth told him that he should leave the property when he left next month,” said one of the workers.

“We suspect that it was armed robbery,” said a farmer in the area. “But we also heard that Anderson had an argument with one of the alleged murderers who was identified by the workers.”

The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) said it suspected armed robbery was the motive. Although the police refused to give details, the government daily newspaper, The Herald, reported yesterday one of the alleged killers had been arrested.

Anderson’s widow, Cindy, has been taken to Harare following the murder, but neighbours said Anderson’s body was still being held by the Bindura police.

They said he was expected to buried on Thursday in Harare.

Workers at the farm said Masoka has four fields of wheat while Anderson was still on the farm, pending the grading of his tobacco crop.

Masoka could not be reached for comment.

Anderson, 40, is the 12th member of the CFU to be murdered since invasions of commercial farms by so-called war veterans started more than two years ago.

News Report 2 – Daily News

Farmer shot dead

6/3/02 10:09:51 PM (GMT +2) By Pedzisai Ruhanya Chief Reporter

A COMMERCIAL farmer, Charles Anderson, was shot dead in cold blood by one of two youths armed with an AK47 assault rifle who broke into his farmhouse yesterday afternoon in the Mazowe/Glendale farming area.

Robbery seemed to be the motive. Anderson, 40, is the 12th member of the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) to be murdered since invasions of commercial farms by pro-government militants began more than two years ago. The farm, Dunmaglas of Norfolk Estate, is 378 hectares in extent and was designated under the Model A2 scheme. Anderson had reached an agreement with Ngoni Masoka, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, for a take-over of the farm.

Workers at the farm said Masoka, the new owner, planted four fields of wheat, while Anderson was still on the farm, pending the completion of the grading of his tobacco crop. Anderson had also planted wheat on part of the farm. He was a grain producer representative of CFU in Mashonaland Central.

A government notice in the Press on 3 February proclaimed that Dunmaglas Farm of Norfolk Estate was now owned by Masoka. Efforts to get comment from Masoka last night were unsuccessful. Jenni Williams, the spokesperson for the CFU, said the killing of Anderson, which took place around lunchtime yesterday, did not appear to be politically-motivated. “The initial indication is that it was a case of robbery as the intruders drove off with his truck, but abandoned it along the Chiweshe road,” Williams said.

Anderson, his wife, Cindy, and two children had just returned from visiting his mother-in-law at the next farm, when the killing took place. One of his children received a minor injury caused by one of the two assailants. Cindy could not talk to the Press last night because she was still in a state of shock. Two of the farm workers, Admore Mapuranga, 21, and Michael Tom, who witnessed the shooting incident, said that two armed men in their early 20s arrived at the farm and forced them inside the farmhouse.

Mapuranga said: “They told us they wanted money, but we said we did not have any idea where Anderson kept his money. They searched all the rooms and also forced us to pack some of Anderson’s property into bags. “When Anderson, who had gone away, came into the house to find out what was happening, one of the armed youths shot him in the head. He fell down and I could see that he was dead.” There was a pool of blood at the scene of the murder late yesterday.

Anderson, a keen hunter, was armed with a licensed rifle. It is believed that he fired a shot into the air to scare off the intruders as a rifle round was found in the house. He was shot in the head at close range in a narrow passage and was pronounced dead two hours later by a doctor who was called to the farm, according to the eyewitness accounts. His wife heard four shots and rushed to investigate. She was accosted by two men who threatened to kill her. They ordered her to lie down and to co-operate with them. When The Daily News reporters arrived at the farm, 15 heavily armed policemen were guarding the premises.

The policemen, who refused to comment on the matter, took Anderson’s body in an ambulance to Bindura Police Station. The two assailants, who had taken Mapuranga and Tom hostage and tried to drive them away in a Nissan pick-up truck belonging to the farmer, were involved in an accident six kilometres away. The two workers then escaped. The farmer’s truck and part of the looted property were recovered by the police, but the gun was still missing.

News Report 3 – Zimbabwe Standard

Cindy Anderson’s heart-break

COMMERCIAL Farmers Union (CFU) spokesperson, Jenni Williams, has her hands full as the Robert Mugabe regime on its controversial fast track land seizure programme.

When Charles Anderson was gunned down in the prime of his life, on 2 June, Williams was the first person to take down the details of his murder.

I met a tearful Cindy Anderson, 42, at the Commercial Farmers Union headquarters on 11 June 2002, just nine days after the murder of her husband Charles, 44, who had been her teenage sweetheart.

She had been comforting her son Richard, 9, who is still overcome with grief at the loss his father.

As his mother tucked him into bed he wept, telling her that he could not live without his dad.

Charles Anderson was shot and killed by gunmen armed with an AK 47 assault rifle.

The farm, Dunmaglas of Norfolk Estate, is 378 hectares in size and is located in the Glendale/ Mazowe farming area of Mashonaland Central.

The tragic events that unfolded on that day are widely believed to have begun on 22 May 2002 when a cabinet minister’s driver gave two youths an unauthorised lift in a ministerial Mercedes Benz.

When the driver stopped en route, the youths attacked him. They then searched the vehicle and stole an AK47 assault rifle. The incident was reported to the police.

On Sunday 2 June, after an evening out in the capital some 75km away, the Anderson family drove to Cindy’s parents on a neighbouring farm to pick up their domestic pets left there overnight.

Back home, after unlocking the gate, Cindy went up to the house ahead of the boys. When she approached the door, she noticed wood shavings on the floor and that the Yale lock had been tampered with. After conferring with Charles, it was decided that he would go around the back of the house for a better view of what was happening. The couple told their children to lock themselves in the vehicle.

Since Cindy had a hand-held radio she tried to get an urgent message out to her neighbours to tell them that she had heard shots shortly after her husband had gone to investigate.

Cindy said: “I do not really know how many shots I heard, but shortly afterwards, I saw some men with the gardener, Michael Tom, and the cook, Edmore, walking towards me carrying something heavy.

“One of those men saw me and came towards me screaming ‘Lie down, I will shoot you’. I quickly switched off the radio and threw it into the tall grass. Before I lay down I saw a very tall man who also seemed to be armed. I was very worried as I did not see Charles.”

While Cindy was lying face down at gunpoint she kept begging her assailants over and over again: “Please bring my children to me.”

The man tried to silence her pleas. “I will shoot you”.

Eventually, the tall man went to the vehicle and ordered the children to unlock the truck and get out.

“Daniel did not walk fast enough so he was kicked in the back to hurry him up. They did not let the boys come to me, but kept them close to the truck where the gardener, Michael Tom, was standing and watching the scene unfold.

“I believed I was going to die and was relieved to see Tom push my sons’ heads down because he thought I was going to be shot and did not want them to see that happen. The man had returned to hold his gun over me and kept repeating, ‘I will shoot you’. Tom then pleaded for my life.”

At this point Cindy”s cellphone worn in a pouch around her waist began to ring, but the man guarding her immediately took it away and demanded to know where the money was kept.

“I believe this distracted him and that’s probably why I was spared. I still had not seen Charles and was worried by his unexplained absence.”

Cindy said the next moments went by in a blur as the intruders tried to locate keys to a green truck. “Fearing more assaults, I suggested they take the truck we had come in and they drove off suddenly with the cook and gardener as hostage. As I gathered my distressed sons to me, I saw a man in a bright green overall running after the truck as it sped away. It looked like he had been left behind accidentally. I am told he was then given a lift by another vehicle.

Cindy then went into the passage of the house. “There was blood everywhere, on the walls and floor. I saw my husband’s body lying in a pool of blood. Half of my husband’s head had been shot away; fragments of his skull were splattered on the floor. I did not know what to do, I just held his hand close to me and cried. I then just put a blanket over him to prevent shock.

“Even in my fearful and confused state I just knew that I had to gather my thoughts for fear that my husband’s murderers would return and harm the children, so I tried to get a gun out of the gun cabinet to protect them, but could not get in as the locks had been tampered with.”

Cindy then had to get her sons to safety.

Cindy explained: “I grabbed the spare keys for another vehicle and loaded the children and dogs in it and we left. I had to explain to Daniel and Richard that their father had been shot in the head and it looked bad and we needed to get away to safety. I told them to pray to God that their father would be all right. Sometime later, I was told that my husband had died.

“Farmers who came to the house confirmed signs of disturbance in all the rooms. Only days later was it apparent that only portable electronic and personal effects had been taken. Most of these personal items were recovered from the truck the assailants had stolen from us.”

In their panic to leave the scene of the crime, the assailants had used the Andersons’ red Nissan 2.7 pick up as a get away vehicle. Some six kilometres away along the Chiweshe communal area road they had an accident and were forced to abandon both the wrecked vehicle and their loot.

It is alleged that the man in the bright green overalls then came across the accident involving the get-away vehicle and asked the driver to drop him off so he could supposedly track the assailants through the bush.

The story took a further twist when Cindy went to the police station. She said: “I told the police that a man wearing the green overalls had apparently flagged down a Zesa truck to get a lift in pursuit of the get-away vehicle. At the police station an inspector told me that it had not been a Zesa truck, but the vehicle of someone much closer to the incident.”

Later that afternoon, at about 3pm, Cindy asked to go to the house to get some clothes for the children. “My husband’s body was still lying there in a deep pool of blood, just lying there, because the police had still not arrived. The reality of his death and our loss came into focus and I broke down.”

Cindy expressed disbelief that the police had still not dusted for fingerprints by the time she returned to obtain more school clothes for the children. She found police at the farm with one of the accused whom they had captured. They were video-taping him as he recounted his version of the incident.

“Although, a clean up had been done, I found pieces of my husband’s hair and fragments of his skull as my sons and I packed their school clothes. I tried my best to clean my husband’s bloodied watch before giving it to Daniel. Daniel insisted that the blood stains were OK because it was his dad’s blood.”

Cindy reflected on the options that had probably been open to the family on the day.

“I keep thinking: Did we do the right thing by going in to investigate? We could have just got back into the car and left. my husband would still be alive and my sons would have their father to love and guide them in the years ahead. I will agonise about this point for a long time-why we did not just drive away at the first sign of intruders.”

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