Shocking violence in murder after ZAOGA church service

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A woman from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo who was murdered last Thursday on her way from a church service, had nearly all her teeth knocked out while her back, arm and both legs were also fractured.

Mrs Ivy Sibanda’s body was found last Friday morning with several stab wounds on the face and body in a suspected rape and murder case.

A member of the Zaoga church who was described by her church mates as a God-fearing woman, Mrs Sibanda is suspected to have been raped and murdered on her way home from a prayer session on Thursday night.

Zaoga Cowdray Park District coordinator, Mr Medicine Paradza, yesterday said they were shocked when they discovered that Mrs Sibanda was left with only one tooth following the fatal attack.

“Looking at the way she was brutalised, I think her attackers used a machete or an axe. We’re still baffled and what’s more disturbing is that she was left with one tooth while her back and one arm as well as both legs were fractured,” said Mr Paradza.

The late Mrs Ivy Sibanda

The late Mrs Ivy Sibanda

He said church members were still trying to understand why the assailants would kill an “innocent woman”.

“We suspect that they took her to a bushy area where they murdered her before throwing the body near the road,” he said.

Mr Paradza said Mrs Sibanda was a devout Christian.

“Last week she approached my wife and told her that she wanted to clear all her pledges, which she did. She was fasting with other church members and on the day she died she was the first to arrive at church where she cleaned the premises before everyone else arrived for prayer,” Mr Paradza said.

He said the church was praying for the suspects to be arrested.

Mr Paradza said residents are also organising a meeting with the police to discuss the prevalence of crime in the suburb.

“Cowdray Park is a big area with more than 36 000 housing units. Our police officers work hard but they are short-staffed and have limited resources. We will therefore invite them for a meeting so that we come up with strategies to fight crime,” said Mr Paradza.

A resident stumbled on Mrs Sibanda’s body on the roadside in a bushy area between Hawkflight and Hlalani Kuhle stands last Friday morning. The previous night, some residents are alleged to have heard a woman screaming near the spot where the body was found, but no one went to investigate.

Mr Paradza said three men were also spotted smoking mbanje at about 7PM near where Mrs Sibanda’s body was found.

Mrs Sibanda will be buried at her rural home in Chivu tomorrow.-ZP

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