Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Camouflage gang shoots white farmer

Camouflage gang shoots white farmer

soljaboyWalter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
A MAJOR police investigation is underway in Masvingo to hunt down a gang that put on army and police uniforms before launching violent raids on two white farmers in a space of a week.

In the latest incident, last Sunday, 53-year-old Jurie Schimper Christo was shot in the leg at his Edenvale Ranch.

Masvingo police, already investigating a similar raid on Westenzelhof Farm in Mwenezi which is owned by Jan Kotze, 53, on July 20, have warned members of the public to offer no resistance to the robbers’ demands.

At around 6:30PM last Sunday, police said three men — two dressed in police uniform and a third in army camouflage — drove up to Edenvale and rounded up the farmer’s 23 workers. They were tortured as the robbers demanded cash at gunpoint. “They got inside the yard of the farmhouse and knocked on the door, pretending to be police officers. Christo opened the door to attend to the trio,” said Asst Insp Nkululeko Nduna of Masvingo Police.

He said Christo allowed them inside the house through the kitchen.

Asst Insp Nduna said the trio accused Christo of having two FN rifles and demanded to see them.

“One of the uniformed robbers handcuffed him. They rounded up 23 employees who were in the same house and kept them hostage in the kitchen,” he said.

The robbers started demanding cash and firearms from Christo while assaulting him with unknown objects until he surrendered $318.

During the chaos, the police spokesman said, one of the robbers opened fire and the bullet grazed Christo’s right kneecap.

Christo’s wife, Hartzel, who was away, arrived and observed from a distance her husband together with employees being tortured.

“Hartzel suspected that something was amiss and she drove to Chikombedzi Police where she made a report. However, when police arrived, they found the robbers already gone,” he added.

Police say the robbers had obscured their vehicle’s number plate and are desperate for any leads.

“We appeal to anyone who may have the misfortune of encountering this gang to make a note of the robbers’ physical features as well as the vehicle they’re using, any identifying features. This is all very critical to any police investigation,” he said.

In the July 20 attack, three armed robbers also wearing police and army uniforms stormed a commercial farm in Mwenezi shortly after 6.30PM, handcuffed and flogged the farmer, his wife and workers before stealing $4,030 and R10,000.

Police said the raiders also took a variety of items including a Webbley revolver, 20 rounds of ammunition, 10x9mm rounds, a 12 volt Exide battery, 20 litres petrol, 10kg beef, two Samsung mobile phones, one Nokia phone, a pair of Nikon binoculars, a sharpening kit, Robertson wine, 14 Pilsener pints and six soft drinks.

Police have advised members of the public against resisting orders from armed robbers, saying it may lead to injuries or loss of life.

“We appeal to members of the public not to defy robbers’ orders as they risk being shot.

“They should always comply to save their lives,” Asst Insp Nduna said.

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