Harare - An elderly white farmer has been murdered in Zimbabwe by two men to whom he had given a lift, the Commercial Farmers' Union has announced.
The family of Bertram Gardner last week posted desperate messages on Facebook asking if anyone had seen the 89-year-old farmer, who went missing on Monday near the northern town of Chinhoyi.
Sadly his body was discovered on Thursday. His head had been crushed by a rock, according to the official Herald newspaper.
Peter Steyl of the CFU said that although Gardner was no longer on his own farm, he was still farming.
"He willingly passed on his years of experience and vast knowledge to those now entering the industry," Steyl said in a statement.
Many of Zimbabwe's 4 000 white farmers have had their farms taken since land reforms were launched in 2000, but some now rent plots or work as farm managers so that they can stay on in the industry.
State media said police caught up with one of his suspected murderers when they found a man test-driving Gardner's car at a bus terminus in Chinhoyi. The would-be buyer led them to 22-year-old Kudukwashe Nduma who was wearing Gardner's shorts. The farmer's wallet was still in his pocket, according to the Herald. Another suspect is still at large.
In a post to Facebook, Gardner's granddaughter said: "Thank you so much to everyone for sharing. His body has been found. He was murdered by someone he kindly gave a lift to. Please be careful and only give lifts to people you know."