HARARE – Hundreds of people thronged the dormitory town of Norton yesterday to pay their last respects to slain Air Zimbabwe boss Shingai Dhliwayo.
Dhliwayo was found dead in a bush in Botswana last week.
Politicians and business leaders all flocked to Dhliwayo’s parent’s home for the send-off service yesterday.
Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna, FBC Holdings managing director John Mushayavanhu, Air Zimbabwe acting boss Edmund Makona, ministry of Transport officials and Mary Chiwenga, were among those who were present to bid farewell to the late Air Zimbabwe spokesperson.
Dhliwayo’s funeral was an affair of opulence as her family told mourners that the deceased — who was also a freelance events and deco management consultant — had recently diversified into funeral deco and catering.
“Before she died, my sister told me she wanted to diversify her events and deco business to cater and manage funerals.
“She said she wanted to decorate her own funeral, most of us did not think anything of it when she said it, but most of the exquisite deco you see here she is the one who had secured them,” Dhliwayo’s brother Webster said.
The public relations guru — who had travelled for a personal business meeting when she met her fate — is survived by three children, the eldest in Grade 3, another in Grade 1 and the last born is just three.
Webster told mourners of how his sister had subtly bid farewell to everyone in the family during her last days.
“Before she passed, she even showed our younger sister, Shuvanai, all the places she bought materials for her business then instructed my wife to pick a thing or two from her events management business,” he said.
Many were left on the verge of tears when Dhliwayo’s three-year-old son — oblivious to the tragedy — cried for a balloon from a bunch that was attached to his mother’s casket.
“As a mother, I can spend the whole day telling you all about my loss and how much my daughter meant to me. But, today I pray in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit for the people who committed this evil against my daughter,” Ephrida Taruvinga, Dhliwayo’s mother said.
A close family relative told the Daily News on Sunday that due to the violent nature of her death, the family had decided to pass on the body viewing tradition.
“If someone is taken in the same manner that she was taken, the one you knew will not be the same with the one you get to bury, so the family decided to let Shingi just rest,” the family member said.
Dhliwayo’s death raised fears of a syndicate of robbers who are reportedly prowling on unsuspecting Zimbabwean business people.
Our sister paper, the Daily News, reported that it had been learnt there was a criminal syndicate operating in Botswana consisting of Tswana and Zimbabwean nationals offering local business people seemingly lucrative business opportunities in Botswana.
“They approach you based on what’s on your profile or your shop advert and ask you to come and quote them in Botswana. They will tell you to come by bus then pick you up from the bus and rob you.
“One lady from Bulawayo was approached, luckily for her; she had cards which they milked for all the money.
“She lost $3 000. If they cannot get money from you they will kill you,” our sister paper reported.
Apart from this, reports from Botswana media indicate that several incidents like this have been reported in towns close to border posts, prompting fears of organised crime in the neighbouring country.
Her family suspects she was murdered following the discovery of her body by a herd boy in a small town a few kilometres into Botswana from the Plumtree border.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Charity Charamba is on record saying the local police was going to conduct joint investigations with Botswana police into the death.