A recently published Ex Montibus Media, Africa Unauthorised production (http://africaunauthorised.com/the-pity-of-war), narrated by Hannes Wessells, (http://africaunauthorised.com/the-pity-of-war) caught my attention. The production brought together Col. Richard Ngwenya (ex-Deputy Chief of Operations for ZIPRA), Capt. Darrell Watt (Ex-SAS Rhodesia) and Clive Midlane (ex-Grey Scouts Rhodesia), this time on friendly terms to compare perspectives and to establish friendships.
I congratulate all involved. It goes without saying that Darrell Watt is always interesting. He was a brilliant and distinguished soldier, and I regret not having met him personally. The same goes for Clive Midlane. I am amused to comment that I would not have picked Darrell out in a lineout as being a stereotypical officer and gentleman. Darrell looks and acts as if he was born in the African bush. However, I have read a few Darrell Watt reports, and he writes like a commissioned officer. I hope Darrell accepts all in good humour.
Col. Richard Ngwenya passes muster as an ex-senior ZIPRA officer and leader. My interest has never been in battlefield tactics and personal experiences. I am interested in intelligence gathering and geopolitical machinations. I was particularly interested in Richard Ngwenya’s protestations about the British Government and MI6 manipulations in Africa. It so happens that I have recently written a book called ‘Perfidy’ and I dedicate a chapter to Perfidious Albion. Col. Ngwenya’s comments, and I paraphrase, “the British created the bush war, it could and should have been avoided. It was unnecessary. The CIO under Ken Flower was an instrument of the British Government, and they worked against peace”. I entirely agree with the good colonel, and I provide the reasons for the British perfidy.
In 1957 in line with the implementation of this strategy, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) became independent under Kwame Nkrumah.
Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi and Sudan would follow suit. To facilitate MI6’s easy movement around Africa and not to attract undue attention, the British Government/MI6 purchased a legitimate Rhodesian Mining Company and, after that, domiciled the Head Office in London.
The company that MI6 acquired had for ninety years been known as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company. Under MI6 management, it became known as Lonrho (London & Rhodesia). The company sub-Head Office was in Salisbury (Harare), the capital of Southern Rhodesia. Thus started a long story that ended with Lonrho morphing into a transnational company. Lonrho, particularly in its early life, was the MI6 cover ‘corporation’ to undertake surreptitious activities in Africa. The Southern Rhodesian settlers didn’t stand a chance.
MI6 had purchased and infiltrated the Lonrho Mining company in Salisbury, and the entire officer class of the British South Africa Police (“BSAP”), as a resource for them. In those days, recruiting, in the main, was directly from the United Kingdom. In 1908, Percy Joseph Sillitoe was a trooper in the BSAP, and between 1946 and 1953, he was Director of MI5.
The 1963 appointment of Ken Flower, ex-Deputy Commissioner in the BSAP, to be the inaugural Director of the newly legislated Central Intelligence Organisation was the cherry on the cake.
The 1961 referendum was a confidence trick perpetrated by the British Government. Unfortunately, the complacent Southern Rhodesian electorate was so trusting of the British Government that they did not pay close attention to the consequences of the two referendums, intertwined and being prepared, in which they were being asked to vote. One referendum was required to legally affect the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; the other referendum had a hidden agenda. If you voted for one, you automatically were considered to have voted for the other. English perfidy.
The effect of a vote to end the above Federation also meant the repeal of the 1923 Letters Patent Constitution that founded Southern Rhodesia. The political waters were so muddied that the electorate voted for an outcome they most clearly would have rejected had they better understood the details. This was British cunning at its best designed to disguise the underlying purpose. In a nutshell, the Rhodesians were duped by the government of the Crown. The mandarins of Whitehall well knew, their colonial cousins were farmers and frontiersmen, politically immature and too trusting of the people who had sent them to southern Africa. Most of them, in their wildest dreams, would not have believed they were the unwitting victims of a massive confidence trick. When the results of the referendum were promulgated, and the consequences revealed, the Rhodesians were aghast but alas, when they awoke, it was too late.
Meanwhile: ‘The Wind of Change blowing through this continent (Africa) and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact”, quote Harold Macmillan in 1960 in Cape Town.
At the time, Sir Edgar Whitehead, was prime minister. English-born, he was taking orders from the British Foreign Office and in all likelihood an MI6 asset. Sir Edgar played an important role in the con, lied to his own United Federal Party and helped the British to facilitate their dastardly plan. He retired to England, where he later died.
In 1963 another quiet but lethal appointment was recommended and accepted by Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister Winston Field who succeeded Sir Edgar Whitehead. The outgoing premier suggested and nominated English-born, BSAP Deputy Commissioner Ken Flower to be the inaugural Director of the newly legislated Central Intelligence Organisation (“CIO”).
Ken Flower was probably not a fully-fledged MI6 asset when he joined the British South Africa Police (“BSAP”). However, he undoubtedly was an MI6 asset once he became the Director of the CIO. The legislation that formed and founded the CIO also legislated the usual indemnities, authorities and powers required for a primary intelligence service.
It should be noted that it was as a result of this legacy of British treachery and betrayal, that locally born Prime Minister Ian Smith declared independence unilaterally on the 11th November 1965. Smith had figured the Brits out, knew their tricks, and he was trying to repair the damage.
But declaring UDI without first ensuring that the Directorship of the CIO was in safe hands was a catastrophic mistake. Hindsight has twenty/twenty vision, and in those days, the Rhodesians could not see the wood from the trees. Flower was never loyal to the cause of UDI, and his part in the eventual collapse of the countryside was traitorous.
Years later, on 1st August 2011 the duplicity of Ken Flower was exposed by Lord David Owen on a BBC Radio 4 program. I quote: “Flower was on our [Britain’s] side. So I was well aware of what Ken Flower was claiming was being done [by the Rhodesian Security Forces], and I used to read the CIO Reports”. The disclosure is available for all to see on Youtube. The British Cabinet papers were also released after the prescribed period, confirming Ken Flower’s treachery.
The CIO Director of Internal Intelligence was Derrick Robinson. The CIO’s institutional design was that it had complete control of all intelligence matters, that is, military, internal, external and liaison sources. This authority covered both Branch One and Two of the Special Branch.
Dan Stannard, former BSAP Special Branch, worked closely with the CIO and was convinced Flower was an agent provocateur.
This is a Dan Stannard quote: “If we had a meeting and there was an important decision to be made about our intelligence, Flower prevaricated. Soon after, he would travel to London, and upon his return, he would take a decision. Prevarication, a trip abroad, a swift decision when home. This tended to be his pattern of major issues. We were suspicious of him, and that divided the organisation. In my case, his conduct in the 1980 [independence] election confirmed my suspicions about him. CIO had worked on a plan to rig the election for [Abel] Muzorewa. We had boxes and boxes of stuffed ballots. We worked out how to enter undetected where the cast ballots were stored, and we were going to replace them with CIO ballot boxes. I was deployed to Bindura for this operation. Flower stalled on giving the order to start rigging, and then he just called it off. I was surprised because the plan was agreed upon. To me, this meant he was not his own man.”
I can confirm that the Dan Stannard quote is entirely accurate. See the book ‘Rhodesia – Our War Against terrorism’ by BSAP Assistant Commissioner Michael Edden PMM. I engaged in many discussions with Mike, who confirmed the vote-rigging scam described in his book. He also denied that Ken Flower had become a British agent provocateur. Mike Edden was a fence-sitter and a typical Special Branch type.
By Will Keys