By Patrick Chitumba
A prostitute from Inyathi was yesterday morning found dead with her face split open a few metres from the local police station. Senzeni Sibanda, 29, is said to have left a local night spot in the company of man identified as Dube, a caretaker at Inyathi Police Station.
Inyathi police have since brought Dube in for questioning.
Dube, who is said to be in his late 50s, was the last person seen in the company of Senzeni after they left Senco Cocktail Bar at Inyathi Business Centre around 2AM yesterday, apparently to spend the rest of the morning together.
A Chronicle news crew visited the scene of the gruesome murder which is along a secluded path just a few metres away from Inyathi Police Station’s perimeter fence.
Senzeni’s body was still lying on the ground face down covered with a red blanket. Two police officers were standing guard over it. There were blood stains on the ground suggesting there was a tussle between Senzeni and her assailant.
Scores of people were gathered, among them Senzeni’s colleagues, and shocked villagers. Her relatives, who were still struggling to come to terms with her death, were also at the scene.
Police collected the body at about 12.30PM. When they removed the blanket and turned her body over, Senzeni’s face had a deep gash running across from the temple down to the nose.
Her clothes had blood stains and some clotted blood was on the ground.
Senzeni’s friends and relatives started crying uncontrollably the moment the blanket was removed.
The murder weapon had not been found but it was suspected that her killer used an axe to strike her over yet-to-be-ascertained reasons.
Senzeni’s aunt, Medrina Sibanda, said she received a phone call in the morning concerning the death of her niece.
Medrina said she learnt that Senzeni, a mother of one, was drinking beer with Dube in the company of her friend, Sizalobuhle Khumalo, at Senco Cocktail Bar the previous night.
She said at around 2AM, Senzeni left the bar in the company of Dube who had proposed to have sex with her.
“I was told that the two left the bar to go and sleep together at Dube’s house. That’s all I heard,” said a grieving Medrina.
“I don’t know what happened or what the misunderstanding was about which led to the gruesome murder of my niece. I was only called this morning and we are very saddened by her untimely passing away because she was indeed a good person.”
Senzeni’s brother, Xolani, said his sister is survived by a 10-year-old daughter.
He said his sister was a well known lady of the night in Inyathi area.
Senzeni’s friend, Sizalobuhle, confirmed she was with Senzeni and Dube drinking beer at the local popular joint. She said at around 2AM, she told the two that she was leaving the bar since there were no clients.
Sizalobuhle, said as they were walking home, Senzeni gave her an open can of Castle Lite beer which she had been drinking for her to finish.
“The bar was almost empty and there were no potential male clients for me. So I told them that I was leaving and they stood up and we left the bar together. As we were walking, Senzeni and Dube took a path into the bush and I told them that it was too dark to take that route. It was at that time that I parted with them going home,” she said.
Sizalobuhle said she went alone to her house and was shocked to discover in the morning that her long-time friend had been gruesomely murdered.
She said they knew Dube quite well.
Sizalobuhle said Dube had been buying beer for them the whole night until they left the bar.
She said she had no idea as to what could have led to the murder.
“For all I know we were all happy and the two were showing each other lots of love and affection when I left them,” he said.
Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Siphiwe Makonese could not be reached for comment. The Chronicle