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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zimbabwe police investigate murder of white businessman

Zimbabwe police investigate murder of white businessman

Zimbabwean police are investigating the brutal murder of a white businessman
whose bloodied body was found in the boot of his car, five days after he
went missing.

By Aislinn Laing and Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg

7:32PM BST 16 Jul 2012

Allan Banks, 52, was discovered by police in the capital Harare with a
plastic bag wound around his head following a campaign to find him by his
family and friends that saw fliers pinned on trees and email and media
notices sent out.

Mr Banks, a married father with four daughters, is understood to have run a
string of food and wholesale stores around Harare and was a popular figure
in the country's small white community.

He was last seen at his shop in Harare's Rhodesville Shopping Center at 11am
on July 11.

His silver Toyota Corolla was discovered on Saturday parked on a street
corner in the centre of town, in front of the Tivoli Gardens park.

Police Inspector James Sabau said the vicious way in which he was killed was
very rare in Zimbabwe, where the violent crime rates are low.

"We are not used to such cases," he told Zimbabwe's Daily News. "We are
still trying to see what the cause of death was. There was blood all over
the boot and his head was covered in a plastic bag.

"Looking at the body, vehicle and scene it is difficult to tell what
transpired at the moment."

Speaking to the Telegraph yesterday, Mr Banks' wife Monica said the family
was struggling to stay afloat in Zimbabwe's harsh economic climate but she
was sure her husband had no enemies.

"We don't know what business he was doing the day he disappeared," she said.
"We don't want newspapers to know which suburb we live in because we don't
want the guy to come and get us as well."

A family friend denied reports in Harare that Mr Banks had also been trading
in small rough diamonds to raise cash to settle his debts.

"I don't believe he was in any diamond business," he said. "He was in debt
that is true, but at this point in time we don't know how deeply in debt he
was. You know Zimbabwe's economy is stuffed."

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