Geoff Hazel - All or nothing

Running time
2 min 51 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, to start with, when I got there, I flew up to Beira three days before Bob did a handover to me. And then, they left and the rest of the boys ... Well, they were scattered across the country. But the ones between Maputo and Beira came by convoy delivering vehicles in pairs. They took three days to do the trip. And once they got there, we set up.

Once again, I couldn't get to meet the regional commander. Now, Bob had been the regional commander originally. But he'd just been pushed aside and he was just doing planning. And you know, couldn't get to meet him, so I got put on as a worker on the delivering equipment out to the new outposts that were being set up, which was not a problem. And then, well, one of the things I told the boys in the first two days when they were there was, "Whatever job they give you, do it. And do it better than anybody else." And anyhow, so I did that job. And then I was put onto the patrol crew for the city. And then, I turned up for the night shift and I was the only one there.

The rest of the patrol, they weren't going to go out there at night. They might get shot by the locals, because, let's be honest, just about every house had an AK47 in it. Even though theoretically they'd been handed in, just about every house had at least one AK47. And I was out this night and one of the UN drivers had an accident. It was a Jordanian in the UN vehicle. So, I went out and did the investigation and came in, had it all typed up and delivered it to the provincial commander, who was an Indian, the next morning before I went home to have a sleep and come back for the 3:00 for the afternoon session. And I came back at 3:00 and he said, "No, no, no.

You're not in that. You are now my provincial investigations officer. That was a good report." Terrific. So, that led to, I got sent off to the hospital because there was somebody there who'd been shot by the police. Okay, so I went in. I did an interview, and it really boiled down ... This was a big eye-opener on Mozambique, which is something that hadn't been covered by our foreign affairs person. Mozambicans do not work on compromise. It's all or it's nothing. They will take either. But you try and put something in the middle, then they demand all.

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