February 12, 2015, 7:44am
TSUMEB – The farming community in the Tsumeb district is reeling in shock after a sickly local woman was tied to a tree, raped and strangled to death.
Rosalia Shuumbwa, 38, was murdered at farm Phildelsia in the Guinas area, near Tsumeb.
Her lifeless body was found last weekend tied to a tree with her pants pulled down and her top lifted up, according to those who came upon the scene of the crime.
The community is still without any major clues as to who the perpetrators of this heinous and cowardly act are, and the police say their investigations into the matter continue.
Her lover of 15 years, Petrus Nghinyekwa, a farmworker at Phildelsia, yesterday narrated the ordeal that left him with little words to express his shock.
And seemingly, Nghinyekwa was the last person the deceased spoke to on the phone, after she had earlier indicated she was on her way to the farm from Tsumeb, where she had gone for her regular medical check-up. On Thursday last week she allegedly called Nghinyekwa and told him she would be coming to the farm the following day.
Her boyfriend (Nghinyekwa) agreed to go and wait for her at the gravel road where most people living on nearby farms wait for transport to various destinations and are also dropped off.
“On Friday she called me whilst I was working in the kraal but just as I picked up the cellphone it died, and when I tried calling back it was unreachable so I decided to take my bicycle and go and wait for her as that may have been the reason she was calling,” he says.
He narrates that on his way he came across a man who asked if he could borrow his pump, and he observed that his girlfriend’s handbag was on the man’s bicycle.
He asked the cycling stranger whether he had seen any cars or people on the road and the man said he didn’t.
After searching for her in the nearby area he informed her family in Tsumeb that her cellphone was off and that he could not find her.
It was at that point that her family confirmed that Shuumbwa had indeed left Tsumeb and was on her way to the farm where Nghinyekwa works and lives.
With the search continuing the next day, Nghinyekwa was informed by a local farmer that he gave Shuumbwa a lift the previous day and dropped her off at the point where many local farm residents usually get dropped off.
“It was after speaking to him that I got very worried so I went all the way to the road where workers are dropped off and whilst walking in the bush I came across a man that asked me what I was looking for,” recalled Nghinyekwa.
“I told him that I was looking for my girlfriend and he said there was a body lying somewhere there, and as I walked I came across her one sandal.
“I followed the trail and I walked up to the lifeless body of the love of my life,” the weeping farmworker told New Era.
The newspaper yesterday visited the family of the late Shuumbwa. Speaking on behalf of the family, Shuumbwa’s sister Hileni Frans said the family took the news with great shock as they were together just a day before the incident happened.
“She was the eldest sibling and such a loving and caring person,” said Frans.
Shuumbwa will be laid to rest this weekend at Omuthiya and is survived by her long-time lover Nghinyekwa, seven siblings and a son.
Rochelle Neidel: New Era