Mukumbura (Where the Gobbies* Lay the Mines): Introduction

January 22, 2013

* Gobshite (also referred to as Gobbie, or Gobbies): One who engages in nonsensical chatter or unwanted conversation. For example- What’s that gobshite talking about now?

“Down in Mukumbura where the Gobbies lay the mines,
A Gobbie laid a mine in another Gobbies line,
Said the Gobby to the Gobby, keep on your own line,
And never lay a mine in another Gobbies line”

Minelaying song sung by Rhodesian Sappers laying mines during Cordon Sanitaire operations, Mukumbura.

I have absolutely no idea how I have remembered this song all these years.

The most recent National Service intake of Sappers were referred to as Gobbies.

Below is a photo of the early Mukumbura minefield. Note the gook breach in one of them.


Place name: Mukumbura

Latitude: 16° 13′ 57″ S

Longitude: 31° 42′ 31″ E

Below is a gook infiltration map. Mukumbura is in the North-East.


Operation Hurricane

The object of Cordon Sanitaire was to use minefields and patrols to channel insurgents into designated areas from which the local population had been removed. They could then be tracked and killed before they reached populated areas.

The first Operation Hurricane “no-go” area was along the Mozambique border in May 1973. Other “no-go” areas were extended along vast stretches of Rhodesian border in an attempt to establish depopulated “free-fire” zones for Security Force operations. This concept that anyone seen moving in an area is considered a terrorist and can be killed was tried in some areas of Vietnam too but was not particularly successful.

More to follow on Mukumbura in the next instalment.

5 Responses to “Mukumbura (Where the Gobbies* Lay the Mines): Introduction”

  1. Jennifer Upton said

    yellow submarine…rising in the river 🙂 Prodder’s more convential methods of saying he had Malaria…and sometimes an excess of something else.

  2. Hi Mark ,I sent you an email , about asking for these pictures.?? Did you receive it. I worked on off there. Ta Don.

    • fatfox9 said

      Hi Don……apologies for the late response and thanks for the good memories in the previous mail you sent. I am going to post it here for all to see. It is really good!
      I will send you the photos shortly. Take care and keep on visiting us here. Please also join my other website at See you there!

      I got this from Don previously…….excellent and I laughed my head off!!

      Hello Mark,

      I used to be on your blog ,and get updates. I see everything is changed and its got three different apps to write to you. I am compiter challenged and have no idea how to do it. I was a grease monkey for CMED and used to repair the vehicles , graders dozers etc when the mine fields being done. The blokes from conservation and extension were the blokes in charge , Blokes called Mr Appel and Mr Peters (coloured blokes old school and very good. I remember they dads army and police reserve blokes there and one bloke had a heart attack and died, he was 70 . SO a rule came out the age max was 65. I went all over the valley doing roads , police etc etc vehicles plant and then my call ups, until I was exempted in 1975. I remember the dads army making biltong out of all the cattle culled , and piss ups with the porks supplying the piss and the blokes the beef and baked beans etc. When working at Motoko used to up the road by Nyamapada to go to the mine road/fence. On the Nymapanda side going in the hoet females used to be top less and a chicken egg was dearer than the huku. The food was cheap eg neemo watermelon etc until the troops moved in numbers. Killed 5 guinea fowl one lte afternoon just run them over as they were not frightened then I ate a pod off a tree ,fairly big and green I color tasted like peanuts. I can tell you more if you wish.

      After all this writing , I am going to ask you a favor please.? Could you send me those pictures od the mine field and any others you may have. I never had a camera on my travels so do not have any. I wish that I had , Thanks for your blog bloody good. Cheers,

      Best regards,

      Donald Munroe OZtraaaaalia mmmate

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