Sipolilo is situated approximately 150 kilometres north east of Salisbury and was imortant in that it was in the heart of the tobacco growing areas of Rhodesia. The DCs area of responsibility stretched from the village and its surrounding area northwards down the escarpment into the Zambezi Valley where the Zambezi River formed the northern boundary with Zambia. The area of responsibility took in farming areas, TTLs such as Sipolilo TTL, Dande TTL, Kachuta TTL and vast areas of Parks and Wild Life territory. The area is also well known for the local artists who produce soapstone carvings.
There has been a DCs office at Sipolilo almost since the beginning of Rhodesia. Phil Wright has kindly donated several photos (below) from his family photo album and they depict Sipolilo in the 1930s and 1940s. Sipolilo was an important area due to the fact that its northern border is the Zambezi River. The borders of Zambia, Mozambique and Rhodesia meet at Kanyemba. The area is world renowned for its nature conservation and hunting, even in those days.
Native Commissioners Office Sipolilo 1940s. Note the Union flag.
Native Messenger Maplazi 1940s
On the Zambezi River 1940s. Note the ND title worn on the slouch hat.
Zambezi Valley patrol 1940s style.
Photo of the DCs Station, Sipolilo in the 1970s
The district was one of the first to bear the brunt of the terrorist incursions from Zambia and a great number of incidents occurred. The following list of staff members has been provided by Lewis Walter who was DC at the height of the war there. Many of the photos on this page were also provided by Lewis Walter and copyright remains with him.
DAs on parade at Mashumbi Pools. ADC Gerald Ross standing to the right, wearing shorts. Gerald was later killed in action.
ADF truck that detonated a double anti tank mine near Fort Harrison in the Angwa River valley.
Fort Chapoto, Kanyemba Dande TTL.
DAs pose with the anti tank mines they recovered in the Mashumbi Pools area.
On patrol in Kachuta TTL. Anti tank mines were a major threat in the area.
STAFF MEMBERS 30th September 1975-August 1979
Lewis Walter, DC
Geoff Cannon, ADC
Graham Dix, DO
Keith Webster, DO
Andrew Sainsbury, ADC ( KIA)
Rob Faulkner, District Accountant
Major MacMillan, Dist. Clerk
Andy Castle, PDO
Dave Clark, FA
Charles Gretton, FA
Gerry van Tonder was also stationed at Sipolilo and he has also kindly provided information which will be added shortly. Gerry wrote the section entitled Last Days in Rhodesia and this needs to be read in conjunction with this page. Gerry provided the photos below.
Gerry van Tonder and DAs playing volley ball at Fort Masoka, Angwa River valley, Dande TTL.
Mabarani at the DCs Rest Camp at Kanyemba.
Flag lowering parade at Fort Harrison, Angwa River valley, Dande TTL.
Fort Masoka, Angwa River valley, Dande TTL.