HARARE – Air Zimbabwe public relations manager Shingi Dhliwayo was found dead in Botswana yesterday, a week after going missing following a visit to the neighbouring country on a private business trip.
Dhliwayo’s sister, Shuvanai Taruvinga confirmed the death but could not divulge much detail.
Air Zimbabwe marketing manager Chris Kwenda also confirmed that they had been informed of the death but referred questions to the family who were still too shell-shocked to speak.
But the family suspects foul play saying events leading to the discovery of her body at a small town a few kilometres into Botswana from Plumtree Border Post raised questions.
While details were sketchy at the time of going to press yesterday, close friends told the Daily News that Shingi, a popular figure among journalists because of her excellent communication and public relations skills, had travelled to Botswana on Saturday last week to tie-up a contract with a prospective client.
“Shingi was into events management besides her job at Air Zimbabwe and in this case, a stranger visited her at her offices in Harare and claimed that he wanted to her to arrange a wedding ceremony for one of his children.
But it has not been established if the wedding was to be held in Botswana or Harare.
“But whatever the case, Shingi had to travel to Botswana to meet whoever was said to be behind the wedding. She even told family and friends that it was going to be a quick meeting across the border in Botswana and she would be back the following day.
“No one suspected anything because she was known to be a hard worker both at Air Zimbabwe and at her personal businesses. But things started getting scary when suddenly on Saturday afternoon, her phone was not initially being picked up and then went dead.
“The husband, mother and other family members then travelled to Botswana after two days of no communication from Shingi. Today (yesterday) they were told that a body had been discovered at a town inside Botswana and sadly, it turned out to be our beloved Shingi,” said a close friend.
The devastated husband and family members who identified the body were said to be assisting Botswana police with investigations at the time of going to press yesterday.
Zimbabwean police are also likely to take a keen interest in the matter because the man who approached Dhliwayo did so in Harare, is reportedly a Zimbabwean and was using a local mobile number.
Shingi is survived by her husband and three young children. Mourners are gathered at her parents’ home in Norton.