Beneath the ruins of Great Zimbabwe lies a lost civilisation. More
Andrew Beretto, ex-Selous Scout, left Zimbabwe in 1980 when Robert Mugabe came to power, vowing never to go back.
But when his brother is murdered and his family farm seized by 'war-veterans', he vows to return to find his brother's killer.
When Andrew arrives in the country, he discovers that he is a wanted man and that his brother has been murdered for more than his farm--he has left clues as to the whereabouts of nothing less than the lost treasure of the Monomatapa, and it is up to Andrew to find it. But to do this, Andrew has to tackle not only his brother's killer but the might of the Zimbabwe military, the CIO secret police, and the president himself.
Andrew has also returned to face his old ghosts-particularly his childhood sweetheart Jennifer Eccles who has married the wealthiest man in Zimbabwe, a white businessman and close ally of the president.
The novel is also the story of Tiger Makamba, frustrated war veteran who has waited thirty years for the liberation of his country which never came. He has taken matters into his own hands, 'liberating' farms and fighting the chefs in power.
At the heart of the novel is the ailing president of Zimbabwe himself, haunted by the atrocities he has committed. The ghost of a comrade he killed to get into power will not let him rest. His only salvation lies in finding the lost kingdom of the Monomatapa, which he believes will give him legitimacy, eternal power and youth.
“Chivenguro? Have you got the knife ready?”
“He won’t put up a struggle.”
“What do you think? Plan A? Do you think he knows we’re going to Mbare?”
“No. He’s an idiot, English mukiwa tourist….”
Incredulous, Andrew silently translated the Shona into primitive English. Kudzi smiled at him, acting as an efficient, humble taxi driver. Beside him, the large man nodded pleasantly at him.
Approaching the Coke intersection, Andrew saw gaping holes and wires sprouting out of the ground on each corner where there should have been traffic lights. Instead of turning right into town, the car careened across the road, avoiding a smoking lorry, which was also crossing the intersection the other way. Then it leaped off the main road onto a minor road towards Rufaro stadium. Andrew knew exactly where he was: Mbare—the old township ghetto on the South side of the Kopje. At once the smooth ride turned into a nightmare of potholes. Kudzi drove mostly off the tarred road, veering every few minutes to avoid oncoming bus and lorries.
“Potholes,” grinned Kudzi. “They haven’t done the roads since independence.”
Andrew pointed back to the airport road. “That’s a new tar road.”
“Yes, for government fat cats. Their road to impress Gadafi and Mugabe’s buddies who fly in from all over the world. They drive only one road, to Mugabe’s house.”
They seemed friendly and sincere enough. Maybe he had mistranslated. No--the word “Ba” definitely meant rob, using violence.
“Where are we going?” Andrew knew full well now that their plan was to take him to a deserted spot and bludgeon him with a knife. Unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t be as deserted as they wished. The Mercedes was dodging potholes too, valiantly keeping up.
Kudzi waved his dismissing hand at Andrew. “We know a short cut.” Then to his accomplice in the back seat: “A short cut to heaven after we slit his throat. Hope he has plenty more beautiful US dollars on him.”
“He does, he does,” replied Caleb. “Hundred dollar bills! I can see his wallet bulging from here.”
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