A Bulawayo woman was allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Upper Rangemore on Christmas Day by men who had picked her up at a drinking spot, NewsDay learnt on Wednesday.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed the murder and said they were still investigating the case in a bid to bring the culprits to book.
“We are handling a murder case that happened in Rangemore on the night of December 25 and involves a female adult whose body was discovered the following day.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the now deceased was raped before being murdered.
We are yet to arrest the suspects and we are appealing for information that would assist us in bringing them to book,” said Moyo.
However, residents who were at the scene of the murder when police attended the scene said the woman was known for patronising drinking spots in Rangemore.
It is believed the woman was picked up by three men from a drinking spot at Rangemore Businesses Centre at around 10pm.
“One of her assailants could have befriended her and arranged with her to go to her home for sexual favours.
She always patronised the drinking spot after moving to this place from Nkulumane 12 where she was living,” said a resident who chose to remain anonymous.
She said on the day in question the woman spent the whole afternoon drinking beer at one of the outlets at the shopping centre.
“I suspect that is when she met her assailants.Residents woke up to the horror of the sight of her body lying at the side of a path leading to Emgwanwini,” said the woman.
Another resident said the woman’s body was found topless and her underwear was torn, showing signs that she had been raped before being killed.
“She had a white cloth stuffed in her mouth and there were struggle marks at the scene, which showed that she had been resisting.
Her blouse was missing and she was left wearing a black skirt and a two rand coin was also recovered on the side of her body,” he said.
Police details from Nkulumane police station attended the scene and the body was taken to a mortuary in the city.
Another resident said the incident has left the Rangemore community shell shocked as such horrific acts were not common in the farming area.
“Murders are not common here. People from this area know each other and it would be easy to identify the culprits. These people could have come from other places, but their actions left us shocked,” he said.
Meanwhile, a man from Heany junction about 20km along the Bulawayo–Harare Road was also murdered on Christmas Day by other patrons for banging on the counter at a beer hall where he was having a beer drink, police also said.
Moyo said the now deceased was drinking beer together with his brother at a drinking spot in the area.
“The now deceased started banging on the counter continuously and that irked other patrons who picked up an argument with him. He then went outside with them to solve the issue,” said Moyo.
He said while outside they started assaulting him and he fled back into the bar, where he advised his brother about the assault.
“The brother took him home and left him in his house to sleep. However, the following morning he was discovered by a neighbour dead. Policemen from Queenspark attended the scene and discovered his body had stab wounds,” he said.
Moyo said police have arrested three suspects in connection with the murder. The suspects would appear in court soon.