The local guerrilla commander put the problem for his forces simply today.
"Many will be outside the camps on Friday," the deadline for Patriotic Front Guerrillas to report to camps in Rhodesia, or face the consequences of being illegal forces subject to police action.
Comrade Takawira, the Patriotic Front liaison officer whose job is to convince guerrillas to report to this assembly point less than 20 miles from the Mozambican border, has been very successful.
More than 1,000 guerrillas have gathered at the Dendera Mission which had long since been abondoned in the face of heavy guerrilla activity during the bloody war. The mission and a camp in the north on the Zambezi escarpment contain almost half of the 4,500 guerrillas who have reported so far -- with two days to go before the Friday midnight deadline.
Takawira, 24, has no doubt that the guerrillas will eventually show up.
"Of course they will come," he told reporters. "They have been ordered to come.
"People have to come on foot, which takes time," he said. The British governor, Lord Soames, who visited the camp yesterday, "should exercise some patience," Takawira said.
Soames ruled out any extension of the deadline, as requested today by both wings of the Patriotic Front.
The governor's spokesman said: "The seven-day interval since the cease-fire and provision for assembly to be complete by midnight Jan. 4 are central elements in a solemn and binding agreement" negotiated between the warring sides in London. "They cannot now be changed," the spokesman added.
British sources, however, refused to say what the governor would do if an insufficient number of the estimated 15,000 or more guerrillas in the country showed up.
There seems little doubt, however, that guerrillas who report shortly after the deadline will be admitted. There are indications that the governor might wait to take any action until after the weekend when Patriotic Front leaders Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo will return to Rhodesia to expected mass welcomes.
The British feel that, as the deadline nears, guerrillas will report at a faster rate. There is some evidence for this as the number in camps more than doubled since yesterday.
The trouble is that many camps have had poor turnouts. No guerrillas at all have reported in four areas.
Soames is faced with a dilemma. If he takes sharp action against guerrillas who have refused to report, it could upset the delicate agreement to elect a black-majority government next month. If he does not act, the continuing incidents of violence in the contry could escalate.
At Dendera at least, the atmosphere has turned peaceful in an area where whites rarely ventured before the cease-fire. Several mine craters along the three-mile track into the camp, as well as spent shell casings along the main highway from Salisbury to Mozambique, show why noncombatants seldom visited the area.
Just yesterday the 17-man Australian cease-fire monitoring force here removed two still active antipersonnel mines. The Australians had driven several times over the road where the mines were found, and two journalists had traversed it just hours before the discovery.
Capt. Greg Pike, 27, the Australian commander of the monitoring team, said the idea was to let the Patriotic Front administer the camp as much as possible, and "it seems to be working quite well."
One of the sergeants, using Australian slang, gave a more direct explanation for the positive feelings in this unusual situation where two well-armed groups are living side-by-side in harmony.
"We get along," he said, "because we 'hook in,' take off our shirts and work with them. They probably have never seen a white man do that before."