Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
A-FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl from Hwange who went missing for 12 days was found dead with her private parts and tongue missing.
The body of Shylet Mudenda of Kasibo Village under Chief Hwange who went missing on April 29, was found last week in a stream about 20 KM away from her home.
The body had not decomposed at the time of discovery, indicating that she could have been killed a few days before her body was discovered.
Villagers yesterday said they suspected the girl was kidnapped and sexually abused for a number of days before being killed and mutilated for ritual purposes.
Kasibo village head Mr Chadamoyo Neshavi confirmed the death of the girl.
“I can confirm the death of the little girl who went missing for 12 days. She was found in Sizambo stream by one villager with the upper part of the body submerged in water.
Family members and villagers who saw the body said her private parts and her tongue were missing,” he said.
Mr Neshavi said the girl left home 12 days ago with other children and their mothers.
“Their mothers had gone to do laundry in a stream which is about 400 metres away from their homes. Children, as usual, played close to the stream near their mothers.
“While they played, it is alleged Shylet fell into the stream and others laughed at her resulting in her deciding to return home. She left heading towards her home and that was the last time she was seen,” he said.
The village head said when the group from the stream got home, it was discovered that Shylet had not returned home.
“Alarm was raised throughout the village and we embarked on a search for about five days, to no avail. When villagers and family members had lost hope, a villager who had gone fishing, stumbled on her body.
“Mr Kenneth Phiri was coming from Matetsi River and as he crossed Sizambo stream, he saw the partially exposed body of the young girl. The state of the body indicated that she probably died a few days before the body was discovered,” he said.
A villager, Mr Tariro Chiuswa said the incident was shocking and had left the whole village shaken.
“We await post-mortem results to establish what happened to her. The body has been taken to Bulawayo. We suspect someone kidnapped and probably abused her before killing her.
“It is scary for one to chop off someone’s body parts although we have heard of such incidents before,” he said.
The girl’s uncle, Mr Vumani Nyathi said he was hurt by the death of his niece.
He said he could not say anything except to hope that the culprit would be brought to book.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson inspector Siphiwe Makonese could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last year, a man from Kamativi in Matabeleland allegedly raped and killed his two step- daughters. He allegedly went on to mutilate their bodies before dumping the bodies in a pit.