A GROUP of unidentified assailants attacked, gang-raped and later beheaded a businesswoman from Kyela in Mbeya Region identified as Ms Neema Mwambinga (44) at a fishing village along Lake Rukwa basin in Mamba ward, Mlele District in Katavi Region.
Katavi Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Dhahiri Kidavashari told this paper in a telephone that the incident occurred on December 21, this year at around 11:00 pm at a small fishing camp near Yeye River.
The victim is reported to have arrived in the area to buy fish which she would have then transported back to Kyela in Mbeya Region for the year end festive season. According to police accounts, a group of unknown assailants broke into the house the victim was staying alone and took turns to rape her and after committing the crime, they started beating her before they beheaded her.
Five suspects have thus far been arrested in connection with the incident, but the police commander has declined to reveal their identities as for now. "We have people on ground working on the case but once we get all the important details I will make them public," he said.
Police have said that preliminary investigations have not established whether the suspects stole anything from the victim, but she was found with a huge open wound on her left thigh. Mr Kidavashari noted that it was still too early to establish the motive of the rape and brutal killing, but would not rule out superstitious beliefs which run deep in the area.
Since on the outset the suspects do not seem to have made away with anything of value from the house or the deceased's person, it increases suspicions of superstitious beliefs being involved in the incident.