Man in court for Australian conservationist’s murder

2015-04-15 13:06

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Harare - A man has appeared in a Zimbabwean court charged with the murder of Australian conservationist Gregory Gibbard, state media reported on Wednesday.

Xmas Mpofu, 35, is a former employee of Painted Dog Conservation, the group for which Gibbard worked as an administrator, said the Chronicle newspaper in Bulawayo.

He was alleged to have been unhappy with the size of a severance package given to him.

Gibbard's body was found in a pool of blood in his cottage near Hwange National Park last week. He had been axed in the head.

Mpofu was sacked from his job in 2014 after he borrowed a company vehicle without permission and then had an accident, the Chronicle reported.

Police found two buttons in Gibbard's cottage that matched those from one of Mpofu's shirts. They also found a bloodstained axe.

Mpofu is alleged to have threatened Gibbard by email and SMS after he was handed a $2 000 severance package.

The conservationist's death prompted messages of shock and horror on Facebook from people around the world.

Painted Dog Conservation has not reacted publicly to news of the arrest, which happened at the weekend.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation
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