HORROR: Couple bashes 4-year-old niece to death, stuffs her body in a sack and dumps it in river


A COUPLE from Zvimba East allegedly bludgeoned their four-year-old niece to death, stuffed her body in a sack and dumped it in a stream near a bridge in Kuwadzana Extension.

The girl’s body was discovered by a self-proclaimed prophet, who had gone to the stream to carry out some cleansing rituals.

The deceased’s six-year-old sibling is also battling for her life at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, after being brutally attacked by the same couple on July 28. The body of the deceased child is at the hospital’s mortuary awaiting postmortem.

Both incidents occurred at Lister Sibanda and her husband John Zvivi’s homestead. The couple is now on the run.

Lister is a younger sister of Ms Nomsa Sibanda — the mother of the two children — who works in South Africa.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm that the police in Dzivaresekwa are investigating the couple, Lister Sibanda and John Zvivi, of Vantage area in Zvimba.

“They are suspected of having assaulted a four-year-old to death, and her sibling, who is admitted to Parirenyatwa. The couple was seen by neighbours assaulting the children with electric cables and switches,” he said.

“The body of the deceased was discovered with a deformed face. Police are still to arrest the couple and they are believed to be at a hideout in the suburb of Granary.”

The matter has been filed under case numbers RRB 5601851 and RRB 5601852.

Circumstances are that the children’s mother came for holiday in April, together with her children and stayed at the couple’s house in Vantage.

On May 19, the mother returned to South Africa, leaving the children in the custody of the couple. This was after Lister had insisted that they remain with her.

Sometime in June 2023, the couple told the children’s mother that the now-deceased was not feeling well and that she needed to send some money.

But Nomsa advised them that she was making arrangements to travel back to Zimbabwe to take care of the children.

Last Saturday, Nomsa advised the couple that she was on her way to Zimbabwe, but was surprised to receive a WhatsApp audio message from the couple saying that the four-year-old had fallen ill suddenly and passed away. They told Nomsa that they had buried the body in Zaka, Masvingo.

On arrival last Monday, Nomsa approached the couple and requested to be shown where they had buried her daughter, but they failed to give her a satisfactory explanation.

She also discovered that her eldest daughter had some injuries all over the body, which prompted her to file two police reports.

The injured child was referred to hospital on August 1, where she remains admitted.

On August 2, around 11am Mr Misheck Mutyorambiri, an Apostolic healer, and his congregant discovered the girl’s body in the stream, while conducting a cleansing ceremony. He made a report to ZRP Dzivaresekwa.

When news of the discovery of the girl’s body reached Lister and John, they disappeared.

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