Farm attack - family statement

19 May 2014


Statement by the Francis family following the attack

on Malcolm and Catherine Francis on Muzhanje farm in Zimbabwe

I thought I would post a more detailed report on the recent tragic events in my family, to try to answer the many questions that concerned friends out there are asking, and also to prevent inaccurate stories from circulating, in the absence of any concrete information.

On Saturday afternoon, 10th May, my sister Catherine and my father Malcolm took the two dogs for the usual late afternoon walk on Muzhanje Farm. My mother Annette was at home in bed with flu and did not join them.

When the dogs returned without them at last light, Annette put up a search and my uncle Andrew Francis found them bound with wire and unconscious from head injuries, after both being attacked by what was probably an axe or axes, on the side of the farm road where they'd been walking.

Andrew rushed them to Guruve Hospital, where they were cared for until the MARS ambulance arrived from Harare. After being stabilised they were taken by ambulance to the Trauma Centre in Harare.

Tragically Catherine died from her injuries on 14th May. Malcolm is still unconscious and has undergone an operation to relieve the pressure on his brain. His condition is relatively stable, but still critical.

The perpetrators of this appalling crime are still unknown, but the police are being vigorous in their investigations and follow-up. A motive is not yet known.

Our beloved Catherine will be cremated on Tuesday, in a very private family ceremony. We have delayed plans for a more public memorial due to Malcolm's present condition, but this will take place later.

Annette and I wish to thank the many people who have phoned and sent messages of support, and given us help in so many other ways. I will update you all on this site, when I have any news of Malcolm.

Jonathan Francis - Zimbabwe