On the eve of the 1999 African safari season, there is a lot of pressure on a publication like The Hunting Report to say all is hunky-dory in Africa. But that is simply not the case in Zimbabwe where a nasty little incident has taken place involving two American hunters, Kenneth Dominick and Gary Cody. Seems the hunters arrived in Harare last month with various hunting guns and proceeded to the Botswana border by car, where they attempted to leave the guns with a border guard while they crossed briefly into Bostwana to pick up a vehicle. In a phone interview near press time, Dominick told The Hunting Report he had done just that several times before and never had any troubles. This time, he and Cody were interrogated for six straight hours before being allowed to leave. Later, back in Harare, they were interrogated again, this time by the notorious Criminal Investigation Division (CID), and accused of being linked to three other Americans who are currently languishing in jail in Zimbabwe. More on them in a minute.... Dominick described the experience as being "pure hell." A diabetic, he says he told his questioners at one point that he simply had to eat for medical reasons. "When they told me no, I simply got up and left," he said, noting guards were told to follow him and bring him back afterward for more questioning. "I'm still being followed," Dominick said at press time. "It's scary."
The incident came to our attention because ZATSO's (Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators) George Pangetti heard we were about to publish a report on it. He wanted to be sure we did not overly frighten booked clients. He said there was no reason to blow this incident out of proportion, but he did concede that arriving clients should probably arrange to be met at the airport this year. In a follow-up fax, ZATSO's Sally Bown even faxed us the contact details for a Meet & Greet Service. "The authorities are simply a bit nervous about weapons right now," she wrote, indicating that she had personally just met........(continued)