Girl (16) Arrested After Child (5) Dies In Suspected ‘Ritual Murder’

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

A BANKET teenage girl has been arrested for murder following the mysterious death of a five-year-old girl from the local neighbourhood.

The suspect (name withheld) is aged 16 and stays in Kuwadzana township, Banket was Friday brought to court.

However, she failed to appear for her initial remand as the prosecution disputed her age claims.

She argues she is 16 while the state says she looks 18, and this prompted a request for an age estimation to be done at the Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital.

Police requested the court for an extension of detention beyond the 48-hour permitted according to the law. The request was granted.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove confirmed the arrest but declined to furnish with details of the suspected ritual murder stating investigations were still in progress.

However, sources close to the developments said the lifeless body of Faith Maganda was discovered in a swampy area in the suburb after she was reportedly abducted by unknown criminals.

After the alleged kidnapping Wednesday, the suspect and the deceased’s mother Felistus Antonio rushed to Banket Police Station where they lodged a report.

Said the source; “The two reported that unknown people moving in an unregistered silver mini-bus had abducted Faith along a road and sped off towards the Raffingora-Guruve road.

“The deceased minor’s mother who was crying uncontrollably was being helped to make the report by the suspect.”

Police quickly responded to the kidnap report and requested a Good Samaritan, who was at the police camp, to give chase of the said kombi.

However, before pursuing the kombi, the police proceeded to the alleged crime scene.

Whilst on their way, a boy (7) reportedly confided that Faith had not been kidnapped but was dumped at a swamp where residents do their vegetable gardening near Banket sewer ponds.

The boy further narrated earlier that morning, he, Faith, and the accused person had gone to the swamp where he was instructed to remain behind whilst the two advanced to a secluded bush.

After a while, it is reported the accused returned alone and asked the boy to accompany her back home, minus Faith.

Further said the source; “On arrival home, the suspect called Faith’s mother and told her she had witnessed her daughter being kidnapped by unknown men who were aboard a kombi. The suspect suspiciously urged the mother to accompany her to make a police report.

“A search at the swamp area led to the discovery of the deceased’s body which was in a muddy area with her body partially covered with grass.”

The teenager was quizzed why she had earlier reported that Faith had been kidnapped but changed her statement stating the minor had drowned.

The prevarication led to her immediate arrest.

The deceased’s body is reportedly awaiting a post mortem at Chinhoyi Hospital.