Independence war veterans are alleged
to have occupied the clubhouse.
The Zimbabwean government now faces
criticism from a growing number of young black people
desperate for change in their country, where more than 14
percent of its 13 million people live with HIV/AIDS, and life
expectancy in 2012 was just 50 for men and 47 for women.
“I went in search of the Zimbabwe I knew, and it was a shock:
power cuts, water cuts, potholes down the streets, and 80
percent of the population not working,” NoViolet Bulawayo told
The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom in early September. The 31-year-old’s debut novel about her homeland, We
Need New Names, is short-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
Bulawayo (real name Elizabeth Tshele) emigrated to the
U.S. at 18, returning home for the first time in April. “I knew
from news and stories that things were hard, but being there
and seeing it for myself was just heart-breaking,” she said.
“Even now knowing that there are no answers, and it’s not
going to get better any time so on, is crushing.”
The Zimbabwean Presidents Cup captains unanimously
agree that their compulsory one-year military training
after high school helped them in their professional careers.
Although Price (Air Force) and McNulty and Johnstone
(Army) were kept away from the front line of the Rhodesian
Bush War, the trio admit that the discipline of military train-
ing helped them develop strict practice regimens, resulting
in the enhanced ability to work on their games for very long
periods. The guerrilla war raged from 1972-79 between the
government and two opposing factions, Robert Mugabe’s
Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Zimba-
bwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).
“Sportsmen were highly revered in Rhodesia, so if any-
thing happened to them in the war, it would have been very
bad for morale,” says Price, who worked radio signals in 1976.
“We all felt like we wanted to do more and join our friends
in the action. I did get shot at, though, and had mortars land
nearby, so golf was far away at that stage. We didn’t neces-
sarily agree with everything that was going on, but in those
days you did as you were told.”
Price’s tone changes noticeably when asked about his last
visit to his homeland. In 2003 Price told Golf Digest he had
not been “home” for three years and had been subdued in
his criticism of the government for fear of reprisals to his
extended family. In 2007 the Price family slipped into Zimba-
bwe for a vacation.
“I wanted my kids to experience the bush, to see a little bit
of what I had growing up,” says a subdued Price. “We spent
two weeks traveling around safari parks and visited the
Victoria Falls, but we didn’t go to Harare. I didn’t want to see
how badly things had deteriorated there. We saw wild animals that had been poached and snared—but people were
starving in the height of inflation, so you can understand the
desperation they faced.
“Zimbabwe was a country that was starting to flourish
in the 1990s, with a massive opportunity to move forward
in the new millennium,” Price
says. “We were a major exporter of
maize and wheat to the rest of Africa and one of the largest tobacco
producers in the world. I never
wanted Rhodesia back; I wanted a
unified country back. White farmers learned the African languages,
and people treated each other with
respect. Everyone was making a
1923 Southern Rhodesia becomes a self-governing
1965 Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front issues Unilateral
Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Great Britain.
1972-79 “Bush War” (civil war) rages between
Smith’s government and Zimbabwe African People’s Union
(ZAPU) and Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
1980 White-minority rule ends as Robert Mugabe’s
ZANU party wins election. Republic of Zimbabwe formed.
1981-87 Gukurahundi killings by Zimbabwe’s 5th
Brigade, a North Korea-trained ZANU military force, is
estimated at 20,000 civilians (mainly ZAPU followers).
ZANU and ZAPU reached unity in 1987, forming ZANU PF
2000 Backed by the government, thousands of war
independence veterans seize hundreds of white-owned
farms, claiming the land was seized by colonists.
2002 The European Union and Commonwealth
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.
2005 Labeled one of the world’s six “outposts of
tyranny” by the U. S., Zimbabwe rejects statement.
2009 Hyperinflation sees a one hundred trillion
Zimbabwean dollar bank note circulate as legal tender for
three weeks before the currency becomes devalued. Two
months later, the Zimbabwe currency was abandoned in
favor of foreign currencies, primarily the U. S. dollar.
2013 Mugabe’s ZANU PF party wins a two-thirds majority in national elections, despite widespread allegations
of ballot-rigging, voter roll manipulation and intimidation
of voters. —B. H.
The decline of South
Harare (top and middle
right) began when
farmers who supported
the club were forced
off their land. Royal
Harare (bottom right
and left) is busy with
1,400 members. Price
and McNulty (at ’96
Presidents Cup) thrived
as juniors in Rhodesia.
A young Price (top left).