A schoolgirl was discovered dead in a suspected rape and murder case.

A 16-year-old Plumtree school girl was found dead last week after leaving for school and never returned home.

A source who spoke to Pindula News said the girl, Tahana Sibanda, was a learner at Gwambe High School in Plumtree.

Tahana, born in 2006, was from Masendu but was staying in Diba, Plumtree.

A Pindula News source said last Monday, Tahana left in the morning of 24 October 2022 intending to go to school, which is approximately one hour from home, but did not come back. The source added:

The community started searching for her on Tuesday after the school had confirmed that she did not pitch for school on Monday. Her body was found on Tuesday and it is suspected that she was raped before she was killed. Police were informed about the incident and are now handling the case.

The source added that Tahana was staying with her South Africa-based brother-in-law (sister’s husband), who is in Zimbabwe on leave. He stays in South Africa with Tahana’s biological sister.

Tahana’s brother-in-law informed the girl’s father on Monday, the day she didn’t return from school.

The father went to the school on Tuesday morning and gathered that Tahana was dating her schoolmate and they decided to pay him a visit thinking she could have eloped.

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The boy’s parents admitted that the two were friends but she had not eloped.

They started searching and the boy noticed Tahanas satchel in the bushes! The source added:

After they found the satchel I’m sure the community called some constabulary who came and saw the pane body. It’s so graphic whenever my wife describes she cries. Her school tie was used to tie her leg, hand and neck. Her tights and panties were pulled down. She was raped. Then probably choked to death. Her head was badly hurt. It is suspected that she was dragged, anga akasvuuka musoro kusvika pamhanza [she had bruises on the head].

The source added that Tahana’s body was found in a ditch.

On the crime scene, there was an ID, trousers and shoes belonging to a gardener who had been fired on Saturday by Thana’s brother-in-law for stealing groceries, the source told Pindula News. The gardener is said to be still on the run.

The source said police were not doing enough to ensure justice for Tahana.

Asked about post-mortem results, the source said the family was yet to receive the results. The source spoke to this reporter:

No results, they pestered baba Tahana and mkwasha to “come collect and bury the body!” She was actually buried late into the afternoon of 28 October 2022. I questioned the rush to bury.

This reporter got in touch with the officer handling the case and he said he does not have the authority to speak to the press.

Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident adding that the case was still being investigated. He said:

The case is being investigated by Plumtree Police, therefore, I’m not in a position to give finer details until the investigations have been concluded.

He said they will allow investigating officers to do their job without interference.

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