16 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Farming Community 'Shell Shocked' After Violent Guruve Murder

The death of a young Zimbabwean woman, who was brutally beaten in an attack on her and her father near their Guruve farm, has left the farming community "shell shocked."

Catherine Francis was out walking with her father Malcolm on Saturday when they were attacked by an as of yet unidentified group of suspects.

Full details of the incident are not yet clear, but it is understood the pair was found beaten and unconscious by a family member, after the attack took place.

Malcolm remains in a critical condition in hospital and is still being treated for serious injuries.

But Catherine passed away on Wednesday as a result of the brutal beating.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) President Charles Taffs told SW Radio Africa that he was outraged that these violent attacks are still continuing against the farming community.

"This is one of many murders that have taken place on farmers and farm workers, and it's just continuing," Taffs said.

The ZANU PF land grab campaign, launched over a decade ago by the Robert Mugabe regime, has seen the farming community, including tens of thousands of farm workers, face serious violence and deaths. To date, the persecutors of the violence have never been brought to book.

"What we are seeing is a breakdown of the rule of law and people are doing what they please. The law has been selectively applied for 14 years and people are taking advantage of it, and the result is lawlessness," Taffs explained.

He added: "From the community's point of view, it's like we aren't even part of society, the white farming constituency. We are Zimbabweans and have every right to be here. What is happening is against every human rights charter this country has signed up to."

"It is disgusting what has happened and I condemn it in the strongest terms," Taffs said.

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