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Kristen Yaldor attacked by a hippo protecting her calf on dream Zimbabwe vacation

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Kristen Yaldor
Photo by Kristen Yaldor

Kristen Yaldor, a Florida woman, 37, is tossed from her canoe by an angry hippo and has her leg broken after it dragged her underwater during dream Zimbabwe vacation.

For Kristen and Ryan Yaldor, what started out as a dream vacation to Zimbabwe to celebrate the wife’s birthday ended with the woman’s leg being broken by an enraged hippopotamus in the Zambezi River.

The Odessa, Florida, couple were canoeing with a pair of tour guides near Victoria Falls on Saturday morning when their vessels got too close to a hippo calf submerged in the water.

Before the Yaldors knew what was happening, the baby hippo’s mother swam under their boat and threw it in the air, causing Kristen and Ryan to be ejected into the water.

The husband was able to swim to a nearby island, but the massive hippo clamped its powerful jaws down on the wife’s right leg and pulled her under.
Kristen somehow managed to free herself from the animal’s maw and make her way to safety despite sustaining a broken femur in her thigh.

According to the husband speaking to Tampa Bay Times, it took an hour for a medical helicopter to pick them up, and another 13 hours to airlift them to a hospital in South Africa, where Kristen Yaldor remained in intensive care Tuesday.

Ryan’s mother, Martine Yaldor, told the paper her daughter-in-law was fortunate that one of the hippo’s massive incisors did not bite into her femoral artery, which would have caused her to bleed out.

Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed Saturday’s incident and issued a reminder to all tourists to be ‘extra careful’ and stay away from wild animals.

Several local news outlets quoted an unnamed eyewitness claiming that the Yaldors came too close to the hippo, causing the animal to panic and attack their canoe.

But according to the Yaldor family, Kristen and Ryan did nothing wrong and followed their tour guides’ instructions.

‘I almost felt like they were going, “Ha ha, here’s another stupid American tourist,”’ Martine said of the press coverage in Zimbabwe.

Ryan’s mother is a South African national and he has travelled to the continent multiple times. For his wife, it was her second trip to Africa.

The Yaldors, who both work for their family’s Florida-based phone and Internet provider PBX-Change, booked the canoe trip down the Zambezi River through the Zimbabwe tour operator Wild Horizons.

Ryan told the Times that the tour guides did not warn them about the calf in the water.

As they were floating own the river, the guides noticed some hippos up ahead on the right and instructed the couple to move to the left.

The husband’s uncle claimed the tour company alleged that the American tourists were told to swim to an island in the river, but Ryan said his wife was thrown directly in front of the adult hippo and immediately dragged under, giving her no time to swim to safety.

The husband also claimed that their guides’ cell phone and radio did not work, which caused a delay in the arrival of the medical helicopter.

Daily Mail

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NEWS

Kembo Mohadi resigns amid sex scandal

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Kembo Mohadi sex scandal

Zimbabwe Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned on Monday following local media reports he had engaged in improper conduct.

Kembo Mohadi, along with Constantino Chiwenga, was a deputy to President Emmerson Mnangagwa since 2018, but without a political power base, he was not seen as a potential successor to the president.

In a rare move by a public official in Zimbabwe, Kembo Mohadi said he had taken the decision to step down “not as a matter of cowardice but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the President”.

I have been going through a soul-searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problem outside the governance chair,” he said in a statement released by the Ministry of Information.

Local online media service ZimLive has in the past two weeks carried reports that Kembo Mohadi had improper sexual liaisons with married women, including one of his subordinates.

Mohadi, 70, denied the accusations last week saying this was part of a political plot against him. On Monday he continued to deny the accusations saying he would seek legal recourse.

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Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers

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Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom

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Chinamasa

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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