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Nearly 500 students from tertiary institutions here have staged a solidarity march against the abuse of girls following a recent suspected rape and murder of a Masvingo Teachers’ College female student by unknown assailants.

Zvikomborero Chingarandi (25) was recently found dead in a bushy area near Masvingo Teachers’ College after she was attacked on her way to church.

Police said they suspected that her assailants first raped her before strangling her to death, as her clothes were torn while one of her legs was broken.

The suspects were still at large.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) on Saturday led the solidarity march, calling for more measures to protect girls following Chingarandi’s callous murder.

The march was attended by students from Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo Teachers’ College, Masvingo Polytechnic and Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre.

The students staged the peaceful march from Masvingo Teachers’ College to the city centre holding placards which denounced the abuse of girls.

Zicosu national treasurer Mr Obey Mashanda challenged tertiary institutions in Masvingo to put in place measures that improve the safety of students to ensure they did not fall prey to rapists and murderers.

He said most college students endangered their lives by walking long distances from school at night.

“What we are saying is that not only girls are under threat, but every student is not safe because many of them walk very long distances, sometimes at night, to go to school,” said Mr Mashanda.

“We appeal to college authorities to find ways of making sure that students safely travel to and from school.

“The solidarity march is aimed at sending a clear message to the Masvingo community that as students we are totally against all forms of abuse, terrorism and acts of hooliganism against girls.”

He said students in Masvingo were touched by Chingarandi’s murder and called on law enforcement agents to hunt down her killers so that they face justice.

Police yesterday said the search for Chingarandi’s killers was still on.

Source : The Herald