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Introducing 'Nkhwazi'

A Novel Set in Zambia during Macmillan’s ‘Winds of Change’

As a rural patrol officer in the Ndola district of Northern Rhodesia, Inspector Tom Savage’s area of responsibility included a vast tribal trust land, small holdings and farms, in the immediate vicinity of the Copperbelt Towns, and the line of rail as far south as Lusaka. Very tight security was essential for the trains that made use of the main north-south route. It was the end of school holidays and a train that was scheduled to carry hundreds of children returning to their schools in Rhodesia and South Africa was an obvious target for sabotage. To facilitate checking the tracks Rhodesian Railways had imported a small motorised rail trolley. Tom’s team was tasked to initiate the use of this unit and check the line of rail. They were to travel approximately fifteen minutes ahead of the main locomotive and be prepared to deal with any problems they may encounter. 


Arthur Thomas

The militant activist group known as Mpepo kwa Nkondo (Winds of War) was aware of the fact that the train would be at its most vulnerable when it had to cross a remote bridge over the deep, Kafulafuta River. There was a high embankment at that point, and it was there that they intended to stage a derailment. The activists had come well equipped to sabotage the track. A socket and cross bar assembly to loosen the coach screws, spanners to fit the fishplate bolts, a hammer and rail tongs. When the train left the tracks at the head of that embankment it would inevitably be plunged into the deep crocodile and hippo infested river.