British businessperson Allan Michael Fay, 58, was found dead in a bush near his Lakeview Lodge on the eastern boundary of Mzuzu City.
He opened the hilltop resort in 2011 and workers remembered him as a friendly person.
His body was found about 100 metres from the lodge.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya and Andrew Khunga, an electrician Fay often hired, said the businessperson was attacked on Wednesday night when he escorted lodge manager Gift Mtambo home.
Khunga narrated: “He left around 8pm and was supposed to do handovers for the bar around 9pm, but to the surprise of the workers Fay did not return.”
“When the workers called the manager to check if they were still together, he said they had already parted ways.”
The manager called Fay’s wife who reported the matter to police.
The body was later found in a lush bush with the head covered in a plastic bag.
“He loved walking. Oftentimes, he escorted the manager as part of his exercise,” said Khunga.
Osman Mwandira said his deceased boss “interacted well with everyone”.
Group village head Wadosoka said it is hard to accept the death of “the sociable man” who created jobs for the locals.
Fay’s wife refused to speak to the media, saying she was being questioned by police.
Kalaya said the police had detained Mtambo for interrogations.
The publicist asked people to report Fay’s attackers to police
Mzuzu City Council spokesperson McDonald Gondwe said the murder may scare away investors.
“He helped promote tourism in the city. It is very sad that he died in this manner. This gives investors a bad picture that the city is not a secure place,” he said. n