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Woman raped, murdered in diamond rush

MASVINGO — A 44-year-old Bikita woman was raped and murdered last week while coming from work at a Chinese diamond mine in Devuli Ranch in Masvingo province.
The area has been invaded by illegal diamond miners following the discovery of the gems in the ranch which falls under Chief Budzi.
Ronica Ndaverombe of Village three, who was employed by Nan Jian Africa Resources, a company mining diamonds in the area, was found dead with bruises and tattered clothes.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Peter Zhanero confirmed the incident saying the police were still investigating the murder case.
“We are aware of the incident and we are still investigating so that we bring the culprits to book,” he said.

Zhanero said Ronica left work at 5pm and walked towards home but did not get there by 7pm as expected, prompting her husband, Shakemore Marimbire (52) to look for her.

“She was expected by around 7pm but by 9pm, she had not arrived and her husband, Marimbire informed her brother, Vincent Mafunga and they made a search,” said Zhanero. “They abandoned the search that night and had to resume the following day. At around 5pm, a herd boy found Ronica’s lifeless body hidden in the grass.”

Zhanero added: “She had bruises around the neck and tattered clothes. We suspect she was raped because she was not properly dressed.”

Since the discovery of diamonds in Bikita, illegal small-scale miners have invaded the area and are fighting running battles with the police.

Some villagers are bitter that they were not being afforded a chance to benefit from the mineral found in their area while Chinese companies were given free reign.

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