Chibaya Moyo Snippet one

I start this exercise with an anecdote written for “Chibaya Moyo” by Captain Andrew Thomas Telfer SCR about an outstanding 2RAR Corporal and conclude with his citation that accompanied the award of his deserved and much coveted Silver Cross of Rhodesia.

It is through reading these anecdotes and citations that one is able to grasp the full measure of what our Masodja embodied as proud men whose selfless and gallant exploits have served to embroider the rich tapestry of our Regiment:

Ali!
by Captain Andy Telfer SCR
There were some men who epitomised the RAR soldier as a fighter. Corporal Ananias Ali SCR was one of them. I first saw him through binoculars when he was moving towards my position to make an RV. Even at a distance, the aggression was evident. In the next promotion round, I made a bid for him and he joined me as a section commander. I’d seen that he moved like a predator and I wanted hunters not farmers. The following is an extract from his SCR citation, written by Major Bryan McDermott. It is only an extract from the citation but it illustrates Ali’s qualities well. The remarks are mine, not part of the citation. “On 16 July 1978, Corporal Ali approached what he thought was a dead terrorist. The terrorist sprang to life and gripped the barrel of Corporal Ali’s rifle, trying to wrest it from him. Although Corporal Ali could have pulled the trigger and killed the terrorist, instead he calmly drew his pistol and ordered the terrorist to surrender, which he did. The captured terrorist proved to be a section commander and much valuable information was gleaned from him, leading to several other contacts.” This was not the only time that he did this. One day, landing on a hot DZ, he was confronted by a terrorist who, seeing that the fallen paratrooper was momentarily helpless, smiled and raised his rifle. Corporal Ali, his own rifle restrained by the body band of his parachute harness, lying on his back on the ground, smiled back and said, Corporal Ananias Ali, SCR.
In chiShona, “I’ve got another one,” and shot the terrorist with his pistol. “On 26 October 1978, during the mopping-up stages of a Fire Force action, two terrorists opened fire on Corporal Ali’s group of soldiers, wounding one of them. The terrorists were lodged in a thickly wooded riverbed with steep banks. Corporal Ali borrowed a machine gun from another soldier and with his platoon commander jumped into the riverbed. One terrorist was quickly killed. Corporal Ali saw the second terrorist about to throw a hand grenade and tried to fire at him. His machine gun, however, did not fire due to a stoppage. Although he was completely exposed to the terrorist, he calmly gave an indication to his platoon commander who was able to kill the terrorist. Undoubtedly, his exceptional calm and discipline saved both his life and that of his platoon commander.” That fire control order was given as if in a classroom. The calm and discipline that Major McDermott describes came from Ali’s complete confidence in his training and ability as a soldier, and in his absolute contempt for the terrorists. In early 1981, Corporal Ali attended a course at the School of Infantry, comprising one-third each of RAR, ZANLA and ZIPRA students, and we were able to commission him and return him to 42 Infantry Battalion (formerly 2RAR) as a captain in the Zimbabwe National Army. I last saw him when he attended the funeral of Lt Col Terry Hammond in 1982, commanding a large contingent of masodja who had come to pay their respects to their former CO.

SCR

AWARD OF THE SILVER CROSS OF RHODESIA
14 September 1979
Corporal A. ALI
Citation:
“Over the period February 1978 to February 1979, Corporal Ali has been involved in numerous contacts with terrorists. In all of these engagements, Corporal Ali has shown outstanding leadership and his determination to close with and kill the enemy has been an inspiration to all. He has personally killed fifteen terrorists and captured four.
On 16 July 1978, Corporal Ali approached what he thought was a dead terrorist. The terrorist sprang to life and gripped the barrel of Corporal Ali’s rifle, trying to wrest it from him. Although Corporal Ali could have pulled the trigger and killed the terrorist, instead he calmly drew his pistol and ordered the terrorist to surrender, which he did. The captured terrorist proved to be a section commander and much valuable information was gleaned from him, leading to several other contacts.
On 26 October 1978, during the mopping-up stages of a Fireforce action, two terrorists opened fire on Corporal Ali’s group of soldiers, wounding one of them. The terrorists were lodged in a thickly-wooded riverbed with steep banks. Corporal Ali borrowed a machine gun from another soldier and with his platoon commander jumped into the riverbed. One terrorist was quickly killed. Corporal Ali saw the second terrorist about to throw a hand grenade and tried to fire at him. His machine gun, however, did not fire due to a stoppage. Although he was completely exposed to the terrorist, he calmly gave an indication to his platoon commander who was able to kill the terrorist. Undoubtedly, his exceptional calm and discipline saved both his life and that of his platoon commander.
On 9 February 1979, Corporal Ali was in command of a sweep line moving through dense bush, known to contain terrorists. In a most aggressive manner, he led his men through the bush and into contact with the terrorists, accounting for the whole group. He personally killed one terrorist and captured a further two.
On 20 February 1979, Corporal Ali, while deploying at night, heard firing. Acting on his own initiative, he re-deployed his patrol towards the firing. At first light the following morning he observed suspicious movement some distance from his position. Arming himself with a pistol and accompanied by one other soldier, he observed a group of seven terrorists. He returned to his original position and called for the Fireforce. While awaiting their arrival, he re-positioned his patrol to cut off the terrorist escape routes. After an exceptionally good talk-on to the Fireforce, he calmly controlled the ground forces throughout the highly successful action.
Throughout these and other engagements, Corporal Ali has consistently shown complete disregard for his own safety. His tactical skill and high degree of aggression throughout have inspired his men and largely been responsible for his sub-unit’s considerable successes.”

Chibaya Moyo Book click link

 

 

Leave a Reply