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Kidnapped woman relives ordeal

A MBERENGWA woman who was recently kidnapped by her jealous boyfriend, was found alive by Botswana border patrol officials who deported her back to Zimbabwe last Friday.

A MBERENGWA woman who was recently kidnapped by her jealous boyfriend, was found alive by Botswana border patrol officials who deported her back to Zimbabwe last Friday.

Rutendo Zhou
Rutendo Zhou


Rutendo Zhou was kidnapped about a fortnight ago by her kombi driver boyfriend Alfred Chihora who was enraged that she was allegedly double-crossing him with a bus conductor.

Chihora allegedly bundled Zhou into a hijacked Toyota Granvia and drove to her parents’ homestead in Ruvabvu village in Mberengwa where he severely assaulted her in their presence before setting the homestead on fire and then disappearing with her.

A police manhunt failed to apprehend Chihora and the law enforcement agents had indicated that his last known location was Rutenga after requesting the assistance of a mobile phone operator to trace his cell- phone signal.

Chihora managed to illegally cross into Botswana with Zhou and the two were nabbed last Wednesday at a business centre close to the border and were detained for two days at the Selibe Phikwe Prison.

They were deported to Zimbabwe on Friday, but Chihora fled and is reported to have returned to Botswana fearing arrest for kidnapping and hijacking.

Narrating her ordeal to Southern Eye, Zhou said after Chihora had burnt her father’s homestead he force marched her to the Ruvabvu Mountains where he sexually abused and assaulted her resulting in her temporarily losing her sight for a number of days.

“He took me to the Ruvabvu Mountains where he abused me saying he wanted to fix me for dumping him for another man,” she said.

“He then continued to assault me using sticks and clenched fists until I lost my sight.

“We spent two days walking in the forest to West Nicholson (about 140km from Mberengwa) and my legs were swollen due to the long distance and continuous beatings.

“Upon arrival in West Nicholson, he hired a car to Bulawayo where we went to his cousin identified as Jane or Mai Anto in Pelandaba. When he was quizzed about my condition, he lied that I had an allergy.”

Zhou said Chihora asked his cousin to take care of her for two days so that she could recover.

When Southern Eye called Jane, she refused to comment.

“I do not want to be involved in this matter. Please talk to Alfred if you want to confirm anything,” Jane said.

Zhou said they took a bus to Kezi and dropped off at Takariyana where people illegally cross into Botswana.

“We crossed into Botswana at night and he threatened to kill me if I tried to escape.

“We got to Bobonong in Botswana that night and I informed some women about my ordeal after Chihora had gone to relieve himself and they gave me directions to Selibe Phikwe police, but he caught up with me on the way. I screamed and some soldiers on patrol arrested both of us and detained us for illegal entry for two days at Selibwe Phikwe Prison. Last Friday we were deported to Zimbabwe.

“However, Chihora used his passport to return to Botswana after a friend alerted him that police were looking for him.”

Zhou was assisted by immigration officials to get medical attention and to alert her parents.

A medical report indicated that Zhou had sustained severe internal injuries, including a dislocated left arm joint, two broken fingers, a sprained left leg, deep wounds in the right leg and a swollen body.

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