NIPA student, Ruth Mbangu, has been murdered in unclear circumstances.
The naked body of the 19-year-old was discovered dumped near her home in Emmasdale, Lusaka, with eyes poked out and the skin of her face peeled off.
According to the deceased’s mother Victoria Mbangu, a widow, Ruth, a second-year human resource student at the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA), left home on Friday to visit her Uncle in Kabanana township.
“Around 18:30 hours I got a call from my daughter who said she was on the bus at Odys (filling station) on her way home. She said she would be home soon. That was the last I heard from her,” she said in between sobs.
Ms Mbangu said when she arrived home around 21:30 hours, she discovered that Ruth had not arrived.
She said she tried calling Ruth’s uncle to find out if she was still at his home but failed to get through his mobile phone due to a network problem.
Upon noticing that Ruth had not returned home, Ms Mbangu concluded that her daughter had decided to spend a night at her uncle’s place.
The grief-stricken mother said yesterday morning a neighbour went to her home and asked if Ruth had slept there.
“When I said she didn’t, the boy said there’s a body dumped three houses away from here. It’s Ruth’s, go and see it,” he said.
To her shock, she found the body was that of Ruth.
The eldest in her family, Ruth was due to complete her studies next year.
“I remember her saying to me, mummy, don’t worry, life will be okay. I’ll take care of you and my siblings. She was responsible and committed to God. My daughter always reminded me to attend home fellowship. Who will now encourage me without her?” she cried.
Neighbours gathered in their numbers to comfort Ms Mbangu and to express their condolences.
And her Uncle George Kalomo, who was the last person to see Ruth, said she had gone to visit him as she usually did.
Mr Kalomo said when Ruth was at his home; she was in high spirits and he never imagined that was the last he was seeing her.
“She left my home at about 18:00 hours though I noticed she didn’t call me to let me know she had arrived home. It was common practice for her to let me know if she had arrived home after visiting me,” he said.
And CHARLES MUSONDA reports that police deputy spokesperson Charity Chanda said police suspect the murder to be ritual.
In a statement released yesterday, Ms Chanda said the body was found at house number 33/11 with the facial skin, eyes and ears removed.
“Police have visited the scene and preliminary investigations show that a hard object might have been used to hit her on the head. We suspect that the murder took place at a different place and the body was just dumped there. There were no signs of a struggle and the amount of blood found at the scene was little,” she said.
Ms Chanda said a pair of flip-flops and underwear were found at the scene and that police have already conducted a postmortem to help with investigations.