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Mbandu mum asks: So, who killed my daughter?

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
VICTORIA Mbandu, the mother of 19-year-old Lusaka student Ruth Mbandu, who was brutally murdered close to five years ago, is devastated by the recent acquittal of the two suspects who had been arrested in connection with the killing of her daughter.
Mrs Mbandu says she has written to President Lungu appealing to him to order the re-opening of the case so that her daughter receives justice.
Ruth’s mutilated body was discovered in the early hours of Saturday, July 14, 2012 near her home, in a murder whose sheer cruelty shocked the nation.
Investigations revealed that she died of excessive bleeding.
The vivacious young woman, who was pregnant at the time she met her fate, is believed to have fallen into the hands of the cold-blooded killers in the evening.
They injected her with some debilitating substance and raped her before gorging out her eyes and peeling the skin off her face while she was still alive.
About two weeks ago the Lusaka High Court acquitted Collins Some and Edward Siandima, who were arrested in connection with the murder of the former National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) student.
Several other suspects that had been arrested were also discharged earlier in the case.
But Mrs Mbandu said in an interview that the acquittal of the two suspects has rekindled the pain and sorrow she experienced when her daughter was murdered in July 2012.
“I thought my daughter would get justice. This is too painful for me because the killers are out there living their lives to the fullest. The police had told me in the beginning that the ‘big fish’ that was involved in the murder of my daughter would be arrested,’’ a sobbing Mrs Mbandu said.
She said she believes the police know the people who murdered her daughter because same of the prominent suspects who were allegedly mentioned were not questioned.
“The courts have acquitted the suspects. This means that they are innocent. So, the people who murdered my daughter could be close to me.
“These killers are living a free and fulfilled life as if they did not murder my daughter, who was full of life,” Mrs Mbandu said.
She appealed to the government to re-open the case and recall former Deputy Inspector General of Police Solomon Jere from Foreign Service to lead investigations because he was in charge when Ruth was murdered.
Mrs Mbandu said her mind is not at peace and that she is failing to sleep at night.
“Right now, my mind cannot concentrate on anything,” she said.
Mrs Mbandu appealed to Zambians to help her bring to book the people who murdered her daughter.
She said if the murderers are not arrested, people are not safe because they could be planning another such cruel murder.
“My daughter’s murder was well -planned. The people who killed her know my family and all the people she associated with,” she said.
Mrs Mbandu appealed to the Zambia Police Service command to reconstitute the team of officers who initially started the investigations into the killing.

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