If you would like to help those less fortunate than yourselves please donate here. This is the reason we are here and this whole situation has been a very unwelcome distraction.
We have been astounded by the sheer numbers of people offering their support and friendship since the attack on Sunday night. As readers of my last entry will know, I sustained serious facial injuries where my attackers attempted to blind me, strangle me and punch me whilst on the floor. This is GBH, not assault as first reported.
Nicole was also injured as a result of this attack and required 11 stitches in total.
So, whats happened in the days since? Well, social media has sent this story viral here in southern Africa and across the english speaking world. 15,000 individual IP addresses in Zimbabwe alone have read my initial account and those responsible, understandably, came under pressure from their community and beyond. I never named names here on my blog, nor on Facebook, but others have done. I won’t be revealing their names here today either as there has been an out of court settlement where by those responsible for this attack and the injuries sustained have agreed to pay a substantial sum toward the Tariro Orphanage where we have been volunteering these past 4 weeks. They have also apologised to me face to face. Whether they were hollow words, I’ll personally never know for sure.
I would appeal for for calm in the light of this recent development and ask those who have already named the guilty parties, and put their pictures up on social media to cease to do so pending the fulfilment of their promise made yesterday to make amends via the donation to charity. If this promise is not kept, however, then I’m under no obligation to ask for anyone to refrain in saying whatever it is that they’d like to. I am no one’s web filter after all.
I, today, handed in an official affidavit stating that I was personally withdrawing the charges as I “no longer saw the benefits of pursuing them” in light of the donation they offered to make. I did not, however, retract what had happened and everything that was written in my original statement was true and if it ever comes to it, I am happy to stand up and say so in court and so are a dozen witnesses as well. Nothing changes what happened that night and despite me not pursuing the prosecution today, that original statement still remains officially recorded and as such will always be there if needs be.
I know many will be thinking that I should have carried on with the charges and taken them before a judge to be punished. I certainly felt only that way the day after the attack. But I’d never let my own personal pride and interests get in the way of helping the orphans we’ve been working with this past month. My face will heal, although I am lucky not to have received permanent damage, and with the money promised to the orphanage we can make a real change to the lives of children who desperately need it. This is the ONLY reason why we have settled out of court. I was violently attacked with unprovoked violence and nothing changes that. I will not receive any personal funds as a result of this donation nor any personal compensation. Had I been here on holiday, for example, and wasn’t here for charity work I would 100% have continued to push for a conviction with possible jail time and cancellation of visa’s to certain countries where by those with a criminal record are not allowed to enter. I don’t need the money that has been promised, but the orphans certainly do and I don’t want to take the promised money away from them.
25% of the promised amount was handed over to us today and will be put straight to work helping the children. I will await to see if the rest of the donation comes through before commenting further on any of this. If no money is forthcoming, I will not hesitate to name and shame and take further action. After all, none payment of this donation would be tantamount to stealing from an orphanage and I can’t see that going down too well with anyone, particularly the thousands upon thousands of Zimbabweans who have been reading this very blog and who have subscribed to receive more updates too.
It’s also come to my attention that certain friends of those who attacked me are questioning why I’m here in Zimbabwe in the first place. I’ll refer you to: “Day 9. How did we get here in the first place?” where I tell everyone.
My businesses in Ibiza have also been brought up as to somehow discredit me for some reason. I own four businesses, all are well publicised, well regarded and easy to find out about via my own Facebook page which is open to anyone to read. I am also Secretary of British Association of San Antonio and Cala de Bou in Ibiza where I regularly sit with mayors, local politicians, Police and Guardia Civil for the betterment of our town and representing the 400 strong British community from our local area. I have also been a key member of an events commitee that has raised over €300,000 for Ibiza based charities over the past decade or so.
I make no secrets for what I do for a living and certainly is has no reflection on wanting to help others as much as I do. I work in a holiday resort and as such we are lucky enough to have half of the year off each year and have used it this year to help others. Quite how anyone can criticise this, or imagine and ulterior motive is beyond me. Maybe if I was doing a 9-5 job, we’d never have come here as my spare time would be so limited, but in reality I get bored with 6months of the year without working and could think of nothing I’d like to do more than come to a country where there is very real poverty and where I can help directly. If this is somehow seen to be something that people want to question, then I think they need to think what they are doing to help their own community rather than trying to criticise us. Perhaps they are more than just a little ashamed that a young couple, such as ourselves, have come from 1000’s of km away and taken it upon themselves to raise $1000’s to help their fellow Zimbabweans, when they themselves see the poverty on their own doorstep and do nothing about it.
Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Our work here is all documented here on this blog and has been since we arrived. I encourage anyone and everyone who has a question to read Day 6. Heartbreaking. and tell me that they don’t think we should be here helping.
If you would like to help those less fortunate than yourselves please donate here