HARARE – Horrifying details have emerged that Air Zimbabwe public relations manager, Shingai Dhliwayo, was callously murdered by yet unknown thugs, who used a rope to tie her to a tree, and then bizarrely tied her hands, legs, neck also using a rope and was gagged on the mouth.
Her lifeless body was reportedly dicovered by a young boy herding cattle in a bushy area a few kilometres into Botswana from Plumtree Border Post and a police report was made.
Zimbabwean police, together with their Botswana counterparts, have launched joint investigations into the brutal murder of the young woman amid fears that there is a syndicate involving blood-thirsty criminals from Zimbabwe and Botswana who lure unsuspecting people across the Plumtree Border Post where they rob and kill them.
During a funeral service at her parents’ home in Norton yesterday, speaker after speaker spoke highly of the young mother of three and wondered why the brutal murderers could lure such a young woman from Harare to kill her in Botswana. Family members and friends were baffled why they would kill the woman even after robbing her.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday told the Daily News that they would conduct joint investigations with Botswana police to try and find the killers.
“We are going to conduct joint investigations, since she was killed a few kilometres outside the border.
“Botswana police called our police in Matabeleland South alerting us about the body. Her post-mortem will be conducted on Wednesday and that is when we will determine how she was killed,” Charamba said, adding that police were actively looking into the matter as the suspect made contact with Dhliwayo in Zimbabwe and was using a Zimbabwean mobile phone line.
The police spokesperson also said several such incidents had been recorded in the area Dhliwayo’s body was found.
“We would also like to alert Zimbabweans that such incidents have been recorded in the area as it is mountainous and criminals take advantage of this. However, the motive in this particular case is still unclear,” she said.
The Daily News has been authoritatively told that besides the man who approached Dhliwayo pretending to look for wedding decor business and luring her to Botswana, there is also a woman who was due to travel with Dhliwayo to Botswana. Police sources believe she could also provide leads to the killers.
“Shingi was also in touch with this woman in Zimbabwe, who had also expressed a willingness to travel. When family members called the woman, she admitted that she had originally wanted to travel but claimed she developed cold feet at the last minute and abandoned the journey.
“This woman will be interesting in the sense that she was in touch with the middleman/men who lured Shingi to Botswana, or she was used as bait by the killers to make Shingi believe there was a genuine deal in Botswana, or that she was in contact with the killers.
“If all these do not hold water, she surely has contacts or information that could help investigations,” a family friend said at the funeral in Norton yesterday.
Relatives were yesterday trying to understand what could have happened in Dhliwayo’s last moments before she met her death and believe that whoever murdered her were waiting for her in Botswana by the border and pounced on her once she entered Botswana territory. It is suspected that the killers kidnapped her and took her to the bushy where they murdered the innocent woman.
Social media was awash yesterday with speculation that there is a syndicate operating in Botswana consisting of Tswana and Zimbabwean nationals offering Zimbabwean businesspeople seemingly lucrative business opportunities in Botswana as bait as stunned people look for clues on the murder.
A message on one WhatsApp group reads: “They approach you based on what’s on your profile or your shop advert and ask you to come and quote them in Botswana.
The late Shingai with her three kids.
“They will tell you to come by bus then pick you from the bus and rob you.
“One lady from Bulawayo was approached, luckily for her; she had bank cards which they used to draw money. She lost $3 000. If they cannot get money from you, they will kill you,” sources said.
Apart from this, reports from Botswana media indicate that several similar incidents have been reported in towns close to border posts, prompting fears of organised robbers and killers on the prowl in both Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Dhliwayo had gone to Botswana for a private business trip to tie-up a contract with a prospective client when she went missing.
Apart from her job at Air Zimbabwe, she was also a renowned freelance interior designer and events planner.
Dhliwayo’s sister, Shuvanai Taruvinga, yesterday said the family was still arranging funeral logistics and body repatriation issues. She is survived by her spouse and three young children.
Presently, mourners are gathered at her parent’s home in Norton.