Home » Judicial » Wua Students March in Honour of Slain Colleague

Fifteen-year-old Leona Matanda yesterday missed school so that she could take part in a commemoration march for her mother, Isabel Masuka, a 39-year-old Women’s University Africa student, who was brutally murdered by her husband last month. The husband, Lewis Matanda (41), committed suicide four days later after admitting to murdering Isabel during an altercation.

The march, organised by the university, saw hundreds of women from all walks of life taking part in the solidarity walk from Africa Unity Square to the campus, while denouncing all forms of gender-based violence.

Leona, who joined the march together with her nine-year-old brother, said she was yet to come to terms with her mother’s death. “I am still in shock. I still have the vivid memory of her lying in a pool of blood, when I went into her bedroom to establish why she was still sleeping, when she should have been preparing to go to work,” said the distraught teen, while holding her brother.

Isabel Masuka’s father, Mr Cephas Masuka, expressed outrage in the manner his daughter died. “She was a warm-hearted woman, and I don’t understand how all this could have happened. “Isabel grew up as a child who was admirable and I knew that I could count on her.

“What happened to her is traumatising and it is something I cannot believe even up to now,” he said. “It appears they had problems with her decision to further her education here at the university, although we were happy that she was now fulfilling her dream,” he said.

Speaking after the march, WUA Vice Chancellor Professor Hope Sadza said there was need for collective responsibility to restore family dignity. “I am humbled with your support to this cause and solidarity to WUA students who are yet to come to terms with the death of Isabel ( Masuka),” she said.

“Where exactly are we missing it as a country?

“Is it our law enforcement, judiciary system, cultural values which have been diluted or our religious groups which have turned a blind eye on the evils affecting our people?

“It is high time we seriously reflect on what has gone wrong within the family institution and where we are heading as a society.

“The ugly face of gender-based violence has sunk in marriage institutions and now requires combined efforts to uproot it.”

Speaking on the same occasion, Women’s Affairs Gender and Community Development Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri said it was everyone’s mandate to fight against GBV.

“Traditional and church leaders, civil society organisations have a critical role to prevent, protect, participate and design programmes to alleviate such acts,” she said.

“Government is addressing the problem of domestic violence at the highest level with an inter-ministerial committee established to ensure implementation of programmes on prevention and response to GBV.”

According to statistics from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, 60 percent of the murder cases taken to the High Court are due to domestic violence.

Source : The Herald