Home » Judicial » Guruve Farmer’s Murder Under Probe

The alleged murder of Guruve commercial farmer Mr Malcolm Francis and his daughter, Catherine, last week is unlikely to have been politically motivated and authorities must carry out thorough investigations to bring the culprits to book, the Commercial Farmers’ Union has said. This came as Government called for proper investigations into the death.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said he was shocked by the incident.

“The reasons of the attack should be established”, he said. “The perpetrators could be detractors trying to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe. This goes beyond farming.

“No one in Zimbabwe should be intimidated. The matter should be left to the police and we have confidence that the perpetrators will be caught. The law should take its course on murderers”.

Mr Francis died on Tuesday, nearly a week after Catherine’s death.

Unconfirmed reports are that the two were attacked while strolling along the short Gurungwe Road connecting the Mvurwi-Guruve and Centenary-Mazowe roads at dusk.

They were left for dead and found unconscious by farm labourers, who took them to a hospital in Harare.

CFU chief executive Mr Hendrik Olivier told a Press conference in Harare last week that there were no indications that the double murder was politically motivated.

“We do not know if the murder is politically motivated or it’s just a robbery, but we want a full investigation,” he said.

He said there had been similar attacks over the last four years.

We have had ladies traumatised by deaths. This is the seventh attack in four years and we have four deaths . . . The people who were attacked are our constituency as CFU. We are not fighting our Government, but we need to sit around the table with Government to find the solution in going forward.”

CFU president Mr Peter Taffs complained about alleged silence by authorities.

“We most sincerely hope that the relevant authorities such as the police as well as others will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice, he said.

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central province Aocate Martin Dinha said Government would descend on all criminals.

“We are concerned as a province over the perpetration of violence towards farmers,” he said. “Every farmer has a right to live peacefully on his farm regardless of class, colour or origin. Investigations are underway. We do not tolerate robbery.”

Zimbabwe’s homicide rate is among the lowest globally, making it one of the world’s most peaceful and safest places to live in.

In April, police revealed that they record between 30 and 45 murders per month countrywide, most of the time without any incidents on farms. This gives an average of 420 murder cases per annum, which roughly translates to one murder for every 31 000 people and 3,23 per 100 000.

In South Africa, some researchers say since 1994 more than 4 000 farmers have been murdered, maimed, tortured, raped and assaulted.

Source : The Herald