A young family has been left distraught and emotionally marooned in Australia following the brutal murder of their father on the 6th of March in Botswana, by two fellow Zimbabwean workmates believed to be now on the run in South Africa.
Stephen Ticharwa (40), a Zimbabwean who emigrated to Botswana as a construction manager, suffered blunt force trauma to the head after being repeatedly bludgeoned with a log.
His face was severely lacerated with broken bottles following an argument over a yet to be known issue with a work colleague and died on the spot in that nation’s capital Gaborone.
The two perpetrators both believed to be Zimbabweans, have since fled to neighbouring South Africa following the brutal attack. One of the fugitives Philip Mukombe has already been spotted in various pubs round Johannesburg.
While there was no immediate comment from the authorities in Gaborone, the family has since confirmed that Stephen’s body is still in Botswana awaiting repatriation and preparation for burial.
“We are terribly pained at the loss of Stephen particularly after he had said he was raising money to have his children visit him for Christmas at the end of this year.
“His eldest had just started University studying mechanical engineering in Australia and they were looking forward to meeting and having precious father and son moments as he was also an engineer by profession,” said a family spokesperson.
However, to compound the complications surrounding this tragic incident, the children of the deceased and his ex-wife are stranded in Australia where they emigrated to and his three children have since launched an online appeal for assistance to over costs that they may attend their father’s internment in Zimbabwe.
His eldest son, Tinashe, has thanked friends and family who have come to his help to enable himself and two of his siblings to travel to Zimbabwe and pay their respects to their late father.
“Our father was murdered in Botswana on 6 March 2014. This is a tragedy that caught us unaware. We hear his body is in Botswana. I am 19 and my brother and sister are 16 and 13. I had just started University. My mother is a single woman who has been struggling for our upkeep.
“Friends have come to pay tributes and thank you. We are appealing for your support and thanks to airlines who have discounted us since we launched our appeal. Having done some work to help a lot of kids who find themselves in such situations, I never thought one day I would be calling for support. This incident has changed me forever,” Tinashe Ticharwa wrote.
Their appeal generated attention and solidarity over the internet and both moral and financial support has helped them to cope during this hard time.
Cases of emigrants suffering attacks and being murdered in foreign lands with complications surrounding their repatriation have been compounded by economic hardships that have meant that families have to be separated and when unforeseen tragedies such as this strike families are found wanting making an already difficult problem of bereavement all the more complicated.