POLICE in south-eastern Zimbabwe say they’ve launched a manhunt for a farm worker suspected of hacking to death an elderly white farmer with a machete, it was reported.
Commercial Farmers’ Union president Peter Steyl has described as “savage” an attack on Adolph Willem Botha, 64, whose body was found lying in a pool of blood at his homestead in Triangle last Saturday,
Botha, who worked as a manager on a small sugar-cane farm, had been killed with a blow to the neck.
On Friday, the Manica Post newspaper said that blood-stained blankets and sheets were found next to his body. An empty bag likely to have contained wages for his workforce was reportedly found in a garage close to the homestead.
The suspect – named by the paper as Christopher Musiiwa – was seen at a nearby shopping centre after the murder but has not been seen since.
The state-controlled Chronicle reported earlier this week that Botha’s house had been ransacked and an undisclosed sum of money had been taken.
In a statement seen by News24, CFU president Steyl said: “He was a very experienced and excellent farmer who willingly shared his knowledge and valuable experience with all.
“He was also very kind and gentle and a great family man who will be sadly missed by so many who knew him.”
Attacks on white farmers in Zimbabwe are rare these days. Only around 300 or so farmers are believed to be still on the land 16 years after President Robert Mugabe launched his land redistribution programme.
Farmer Malcolm Francis and his daughter Catherine were killed in May 2014 on their farm in Guruve in a widely-publicised attack.