The Odd Man In
272 pages

The Odd Man In


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272 pages
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Denis Norman was born into an ordinary farming family in Oxfordshire, England in 1931, and 22 years later he travelled to Africa to become an assistant on a tobacco farm in Southern Rhodesia. Within a few years, he had bought his own farm, and had begun to rise through the ranks of the country�s agricultural administration. He was President of the Commercial Farmers� Union when Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980 and, with no previous political affiliations, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture in the inaugural Zimbabwean government. His story throws a unique and fascinating light on the political and economic development of Zimbabwe. His assessment of its politicians; whether colleagues or adversaries; is candid and acute. In particular he offers an unusually nuanced and rarely glimpsed portrait of Mugabe, who, having asked him to leave government after the 1985 elections, later invited him back to be Minister of Transport, then Minister of Energy, and finally Minister of Agriculture again before Norman resigned in 1997. Written with a fine balance of the personal, the professional and the political, this memoir offers an observant insider�s view of the early promise, and subsequent decline, of a newly independent country finding its way in the world. Denis Norman faced many difficult situations as a government minister, but his penchant for focusing on the positive earned him the nickname, �Nothing Wrong Norman�. His engaging story reflects his encouraging attitude and he remains hopeful for the future.



Publié par
Date de parution 17 août 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781779223364
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 32 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0055€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The Odd Man In
The Odd Man In Mugabe’s White-Hand Man
Denis Norman
Published by Weaver Press, Box A1922, Avondale, Harare. 2018 <>
© Denis Norman, 2018
Typeset by Weaver Press
Cover Design: Danes Design, Harare Printed by: Directory Publishers, Bulawayo
Photograph on p. viii: Ilo the Pirate All other photographs from the author’s private collection.
All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise – without the express written permission of the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-77922-335-7 (p/b) ISBN: 978-1-77922-336-4 (e-book)
I dedicate this book to my wonderful wife June, who has supported, encouraged and loved me for over sixty years. Without her sustained back-up and affection, my life would have been very different and this book would never have been written.
This is an important book written by someone who was absolutely central to the events of the early part of the Mugabe government. It provides a fascinating record by the man who was recommended by my father, Lord Soames, then the Governor, to help steer and serve the newly independent country of Zimbabwe. The book offers a unique insight into the politics and personality of President Mugabe and his government as they come to grips with power.
Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Foreword by Simba Makoni Preface 1. Early Life 1931–55 2. Rhodesia 1955–60 3. Agro-Politics 1960–80
4. National Politics 1980–97 5. Outside Politics prior to and post 1997 6. Reflections Epilogue
xi xiii 1 14 35 69 189 222 133
Denis Norman
For a number of years, many people have asked me the question, “what was it like serving and working in Mugabe’s government?” and they usually followed that query by suggesting I wrote a book detailing those years. More importantly, my family, having lived through those unusual and absorbing times, have urged me to record my impressions. I am grateful for the confidence and encouragement I have received from June and from all four of our children in finally consenting to put pen to paper. To Kathryn, Diana, Howard and Deborah I owe great gratitude for being so loyally understanding of a father who was frequently absent, and I also thank their respective spouses for their support. I pay a special tribute to Deborah who has been a tower of strength in deciphering my handwriting, correcting my spelling, and typing and re-typing numerous copies of my scribbles to finally form this book. I also thank her husband Simon, and June for their valuable proof-reading and editing advice. My sincere thanks go to Irene Staunton and her team at Weaver Press in Harare for their encouragement and enthusiasm in taking on this project. Their expert knowledge and guidance have been invaluable in getting this book to print. To all those who have wondered, queried and assisted, I hope you will not be disappointed, and that my story satisfies and justifies the confidence you have shown in me.
Denis Norman
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