Zimbabwe farmers' leader murdered in axe attack

GWERU, ZIMBABWE – Bob Vaughan-Evans, a director of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union, has been axed to death at his home.

Mr Vaughan-Evans, who was in his late seventies, was killed on the eve of his wife Jean’s 80th birthday. The couple were attacked in their home in Gweru, Zimbabwe’s third largest city, where Mr Vaughan-Evans represented the CFU in the Midlands Province.

The CFU president, Trevor Gifford, said Mr Vaughan-Evans, a renowned agriculturalist and conservationist, died from head wounds after he was attacked by an intruder.

He said he did not yet know Mrs Vaughan-Evans’s condition. "She is frail and in a wheelchair from a previous attack, also in their home," he said.

Mr Gifford said the couple had been attacked three times in the last six months, once for about £15.

President Robert Mugabe began siezing thousands of white-owned farms in 2000 and now only a few hundred remain on small portions of their original land holdings.

"We still do not know details of what happened. Bob was a very important member of the CFU team," said Mr Gifford.

Zimbabwe’s crime statistics are seldom disclosed, but there has been a surge of armed and violent robberies, particularly since Zimbabwe abandoned its worthless currency in January and now uses US dollars or South African Rands.

Daily Telegraph (UK)