Flora Fadzai Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
MARGARET Ndlovu was beaten to death by her lover at a farm in Nyamandlovu and her heartbroken father says it’s been a tough year as he feels like he failed to protect his child.
Margaret, who died at the age of 20, was killed by her lover who then told her father Mr Mthokozisi Ndlovu that she was missing having eloped with another lover.
Not believing that his daughter had run away with a lover as her boyfriend had made everyone believe, Mr Ndlovu decided to file a missing person’s report.
Margaret was found inside a well at a neighbour’s home a week after she had been missing.
Mr Ndlovu said the wound from the loss is still fresh and he still cannot believe that his daughter is gone forever even though her killer was jailed.
“It’s been a year but l still remember the state my daughter was in when police retrieved her body from the well. Whenever I think of her I remember how l failed to help her. We were so close and she used to love spending time with me. She would sit with me and spend hours telling me endless stories. I really miss her a lot,” he said.
Before and after Miss Ndlovu’s murder, women and girls have continued to fall in harm’s way, underlining the scourge of GBV in the country.
Stories of the brutal murder of women and girls come as Zimbabwe has joined the world in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
This year’s national theme is ‘All Lives Matter! End Gender-Based Violence Now!’
Mr Ndlovu said he wishes more girls, especially from rural areas, could be taught how to protect themselves and leave when they see that their partners are becoming violent.
“Most women are still being killed by their spouses which makes one wonder what the problem is. Is it that the country is not doing much to tackle GBV cases? Are the GBV campaigns not enough? Are schools not teaching children enough about GBV and that they should stand up to it, despite who the abuser is,” asked Mr Ndlovu.
“Violence is not love and it will never be love. I hope girls, especially from the rural areas and peri-urban areas, can learn and understand this.”
Margaret’s lover is not the only one who told a false story to cover up a murder case.
Sanele Ndlovu (21) of Bulawayo’s Khumalo suburb, who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend in September this year, is yet to be buried due to differences between her family and that of her alleged killer following the GBV death.
When she died, her boyfriend allegedly claimed that she had lost her life in a hit-and-run accident, but police investigations revealed he allegedly ran over her with a truck during a domestic dispute.
The boyfriend Tendai Gondo (29) is out on bail for the alleged murder.
In an interview with Chronicle, the late woman’s father Mr Bernard Ndlovu said her body is still at the
United Bulawayo Hospitals mortuary after Gondo had initially signed for the burial order.
“How am l expected to remember someone who is still at the mortuary? She was killed and still has not been buried because her killer is still refusing with her documents,” he said.
Another heartbreaking case that the country recently woke up to is the death of one Nobuhle Mlambo who spent about a month in the intensive care unit before succumbing to injuries sustained in a savage beating on Sunday last week in Pumula suburb.
The motive for the ruthless assault has not been established. Neighbours told Chronicle that as Mlambo hung on the door, with splinters piercing her neck, her boyfriend — known only as Moses — kicked and strangled her.
They said they were afraid to intervene because Moses was often violent.
When her father rushed to his daughter’s house, he found her unconscious and bleeding from the head.
She was ferried to UBH where she died last week and was buried at Luveve Cemetery on Saturday.
Mlambo’s brother, Mr David Dlamini (33) told Chronicle over the weekend that Moses used to severely beat his sister up.
“My sister was severely assaulted by this man because when we found her, she was hanging on a broken door where half of her upper body was outside the house and the other inside. It is clear that he broke the door by smashing her through it,” said Mr Dlamini.
Mr Dlamini said what pains him the most is that the accused person who is well known in the area as Moses Remai is still roaming around the suburb freely.
In yet another heartrending case, the family of another victim yesterday declined to comment on the case of a relative who was killed after she broke up with an abusive out-of-work kombi driver from Bulawayo in May last year.
Melinkosi Moyo from Lobengula West allegedly followed Prudence Ndlovu (24) from the same suburb to a relative’s home in Nkulumane suburb where he stabbed her repeatedly before fleeing.
Ndlovu, who was a third-year student at Bulawayo Polytechnic, was reportedly having relationship problems with Moyo whom she had been dating for about two years.
Even minors have not been spared.
Early this month, a Gwanda man shocked the country after fatally assaulting “his” 15-year-old “wife” accusing her of infidelity following an all-night party.
The minor Silindokuhle Sibanda had been staying with Thandazani Ncube (31) since February at his parent’s homestead in Singukwe Village.
The late minor’s aunt, Ms Rebecca Sibanda recently revealed to Chronicle that the deceased was sexually abused at the age of nine years by her uncle who later fled to South Africa, before meeting her would-be killer who took her as a wife.
There is also the case of 38-year-old Thulisiwe Dube from Old Magwegwe suburb in Bulawayo who was found dead in her brother’s car in August after she had gone missing for more than two days. It was alleged she was killed by her friend’s boyfriend who thought she had money as she had just come back from South Africa and had bought a house.
There are other cases outside Matabeleland region that have shocked the nation and the killers have resorted to suicide.
In Harare in July, Ximex mall dealer, Boss Pangolin, real name-Tafadzwa Murenga fatally shot his lover Samantha Ruvimbo Dzapata accusing her of cheating on him. He later committed suicide.
Also in Harare, some years back, businessman Irvine Mereki shot dead his long-time girlfriend Clariss Chopamba before turning the gun on himself.
During the national launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV last Friday, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni decried escalating violence against women and children.
She said from January to September 2022, 435 rape cases were reported and of these, 58 percent involved minors. She said a total of 959 sexual violence cases and 1 038 domestic violence cases were also reported during the period.