The Herald 20 February 2011
A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was raped and killed in cold blood on her way to school by an unknown assailant who waylaid her along a foot path in a resettlement area in Chivhu last week.
The girl, Angela Murivamwe of North Strathassque Resettlement in Chivhu, was raped and strangled to death in a bushy area. Her lifeless body was found some 30 metres from her homestead.
A neighbour has since been arrested in connection with the murder and investigations are still in progress.
The incident occurred on Wednesday morning last week as the girl was on her way to school.
The gruesome murder has left villagers engulfed in fear and parents are now accompanying their children to school.
Officer-in-charge at Chivhu Police Station Inspector Godfrey Mapuranga confirmed the case saying investigations were underway.
The incident occurred when the girl’s mother Ms Tsitsi Makaudze was about to go for work at a nearby farm.
According to police, the girl took her books heading towards Shingirirayi Primary School, some 300 metres away when she bumped into the man.
She screamed for help and her mother rushed to the scene, but could not rescue her daughter as she was threatened with death. Ms Makaudze reportedly rushed to a neighbour’s place where she asked for help.
However, by the time they got to the scene the man had already disappeared and the girl’s corpse was found lying naked in the grass.
Ms Makaudze told The Herald that she once worked with the suspect at a nearby plot.
“When I tried to save my child, the man shouted at me and threatened to kill me if I drew any closer to him. I then cried for help and neighbours responded and when we went to the scene, my child was already dead.
“I’m sure the person is the one I once worked with at Nangatidza’s plot. He was arrested and I’m sure he wanted to fix me because we had some fights. He once attempted to rape me and I was saved by my daughter, the one he killed,” she said.
A woman who spoke on condition of anonymity suggested that Ms Makaudze should also be questioned in connection with the murder.
“Police have arrested the man, but I feel the girl’s mother should also be quizzed over the issue. Her statements are suspicious and we have heard conflicting versions from her.”
Shingirirayi Primary School’s Development Committee chairperson Mr Salisio Kechemu assisted in reporting the case to the police.
He said police reacted swiftly and 11 details with three dogs were deployed.
“The police responded very well and they came in their numbers to investigate the case,” he said.
He said the community was no longer safe and villagers would only feel safe once the real culprit is arrested.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
Despite policies put in place to protect children’s rights, and the establishment of civic organisations that focus on those rights, the abuse of children is on the rise, especially rape and murder.
Speaking at the Women and Girls Symposium in Epworth early this year, the late Zimbabwe Council of Churches liaison officer, Reverend Samuel Sifelani highlighted measures some churches are taking to protect children against child sexual abuse: “As we speak, we have other churches that have made it a pre-requisite that whoever wants to teach Sunday school should undergo strict police vetting and clearance to ensure parents won’t leave their children in the hands of child sexual offenders or paedophiles.”
The macabre murder of seven-year-old Tapiwa Makore (Junior) of Murehwa recently, who is believed to have been killed for juju, reads like a continuing script of the girl’s murder. Tapiwa’s murder has shocked the nation.