A-22-year-old Zimbabwean man from Filabusi, Insiza District in Matabeleland South is on the run after he allegedly r*ped and murdered his five year old niece, police have confirmed.
According to Chronicle, family members discovered a bloodied axe in a bedroom hut where the minor was found lying in a pool of blood. She had semen all over her heavily bruised private parts.
Thokozani Sibanda of Number 4 Montrose 4A village under Chief Maduna is suspected to have raped and axed his niece several times on the neck.
The incident occurred on Tuesday and two children, according to a family source, discovered the body at around 3PM.
A source who preferred anonymity said Sibanda allegedly abused and killed the minor when her grandmother was away.
“The child lived with her grandmother Mrs Beauty Sibanda (61). The deceased’s grandmother left her and her six-year-old brother in the custody of their uncle, who lives in the same village.
“Around midday, she arrived and asked her grandson where the girl was. The boy said she had gone to visit their aunt who lived at a nearby homestead, with her uncle,” said the source.
The source said Mrs Sibanda proceeded to her kraal where she took her herd of cattle and headed to the grazing areas.
“She was later shocked to see her neighbours together with the police, following her into the bush to tell her that her grandchild had been found dead,” said the source.
The source said Mrs Sibanda still could not believe her son did such a gruesome thing to his own niece.
“The village is in shock over the incident but we thank God the suspect fled because villagers would have killed him with their bare hands. That was an evil thing to do to an innocent child. We hope justice catches up with him,” said the source.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said police have launched a manhunt for the suspect.
“Investigations revealed the deceased had been r*ped before being axed to death. The accused person fled from the scene after committing the crime and is still at large,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
He urged people to always leave their children, especially girls, in the custody of mature adults.
Chief Supt Nyathi appealed to members of the public who may have information that could lead to Sibanda’s arrest, to contact their nearest police station.
Alternatively, he said, they can call police in Filabusi on (017) 247.