Kobus Joubert, a farmer and former president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, was gunned down by armed robbers at his farm in Chegutu on Monday morning.
Police spokesperson Andrew Phiri and the vice-president of the Commercial Farmers’
Union Charles Taffs confirmed the incident and said preliminary indications were that Joubert fell victim to armed robbers.
The suspects got away with $10 000, two pistols and cellphones, among other valuables.
Phiri said a two-man armed gang broke into Joubert’s house just after midnight and confronted his wife Mariana who had just woken up to go to the toilet.
“She panicked and screamed for help resulting in Joubert rushing to investigate.
One of the robbers fired towards him and hit him in the head and he died on the spot,” said Phiri.
“They then slapped his wife twice while demanding cash after which they ransacked the house and stole two pistols, three cellphones and $10 000.”
Phiri said police were hunting for the suspects and urged people with information to assist.
He said the suspects would be charged with murder and armed robbery.
Taffs said the country had lost an experienced and dedicated farmer, who was known all over the world for his expertise.
He said the incident was testimony of the breakdown of the rule of law in the country although he admitted that the motive behind the shooting appeared criminal.
“The facts are pointing towards robbery but this is a manifestation of the lawlessness.
There has been a breakdown of the rule of law in the last 10 years.
But Zimbabwean people are not like that and we have appealed to the government to observe the rule of law,” he said.
Joubert made news in 2008 when he lived in the open with his wife and 18 of his workers after being thrown off his farm by a group of marauding war veterans.
The family moved off the farm with their property, which included tractors, trucks, refrigerators, stoves, wardrobes, pots, plates, clothes and beds, and camped along the Harare-Bulawayo highway.
Joubert moved back onto the farm after the late Vice-President Joseph Msika intervened in the dispute and ordered the invaders off the property.