A farm worker and journalist who operated a well-known website in Zimbabwe has died in a farm accident in Saskatchewan.
Asher Mutsengi, founder and owner of Zimbabwe Metro, died July 27 on a farm near Central Butte, about 200 kilometres northwest of Regina.
Mutsengi had been working inside a grain bin when he apparently slipped and fell, the RCMP said.
He ended up covered in wheat and suffocated before he could be rescued.
Mutsengi had been helping Doug Bryan empty out a grain bin — a routine chore, Bryan's son, Dave, said.
A grain auger had been running, but it ran out of grain, he said.
"Dad says, 'Well, I got to go up and knock the grain down,' " Dave Bryan said. "Asher, he's a young guy, he's 26 years old and he says, 'Oh hell Doug, I'm younger than you.' So he got up in there and he didn't come out."
Bryan said his father and another hired man rushed to dig Mutsengi out, but they still hadn't reached him by the time the ambulance arrived.
The elder Bryan suffered a heart attack during the rescue and is now in hospital awaiting open heart surgery.
Before coming to Canada from Zimbabwe, Mutsengi had written articles critical of the Robert Mugabe government, Bryan said.
"He was head of the university newspaper and he had written some things that were not very popular by certain political people in Zimbabwe and he got beat up," he said.
"So he ended up coming to Canada and working on the farm and he just loved it out on the farm. He was looking forward to harvest."
Bryan says Mutsengi's death is a tragedy on many levels. His online newspaper was one of only five independent papers in Zimbabwe, all of which are written by people outside the country, Bryan said.