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Zimbabwean Zookeeper

Malcolm is the zookeeper—said to be MI6. He has managed to stay in favour with all the right people and his special zoo has flourished.

Above ground is the regular zoo, but Malcolm's prize animals are kept underground.

The facility is well-lighted though not particularly cheery. Beyond the entrance is a long row of cages. The occupants have no privacy and never get out.

In the first cage is Emmanuel, excommunicated for too actively siding with the regime. His neighbour, Yuri, is 76, Russian, and bitter. His job was to sabotage Chinese-Zimbabwean projects. Now, he sleeps most of the time.

Then there's Veronica ... Lacey, the Hollywood film star who campaigns for the cameras. She used to be quite the looker. Next is Cecil a dispossessed land baron who once gave sanctuary to the wrong people. He's a target of Bob's frequent pseudo-Marxist diatribes.

Bob, was purged three times, rehabilitated twice, and ultimately locked away in Malcolm's zoo. In a small cage within a cage is Eugene the poacher. He is the most hated. Next, the Iversons, virulently anti-Marxist missionaries, sing "Shall We Gather at the River" all day long. Tafadzwa got here by throwing the World Cup cricket match against Pakistan. He paces day and night.

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One day Malcolm got a message — Top Secret. He'd been recalled to Langley. He was so furious he opened all the cages. The elephants rampaged above, and everyone in the underground zoo got away except Eugene. He was found hanged.

Story by:

Peter Mcmillan

5 April 2015