Pilot, Prisoner, Patriot
The book centers on the arrest, torture, imprisonment and trial of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force of Zimbabwe on false charges of treason against the new Government of Zimbabwe, headed by Robert Mugabe.
The author, Air Vice Marshal Hugh Slatter, writes of his early childhood and upbringing in Africa (Southern Rhodesia) in the 1950s, followed by his entry into the Air Force and his rapid rise to the Chief of Staff position and pending promotion to Commander of the Air Force. In 1982 he is arrested by government agents of the Central Intelligence Organization, along with other officers, and tortured into signing false and incriminating confessions of guilt.
After a lengthy imprisonment and trial where he is defended by QC Harry Ognall, the successful prosecutor of the Yorkshire Ripper, he and the others were judged innocent by Zimbabwe`s Chief Justice, Enoch Dumbutshena. He is immediately rearrested and imprisoned because, as the hotheaded Minister of Home Affairs explains, “It is we, the Government who rule the country, not the High Court!”
After considerable world pressure on the Mugabe regime, he is released but evicted from the land of his birth and flown to England. He is aided by Senator Tom Eagleton, the Senior Senator in the US Senate, to come and settle in the USA.
The author recounts a successful second career, retiring as an Executive for General Electric Aviation coordinating new airplane projects with BOEING.
Finally, the author reflects on the consequences, tangible and intangible, of the life-changing event in Zimbabwe.
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