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Friday 16 November 2018

Murdered Rudo's family want to bring their daughter back home

A COMMUNITY’S SHARED GRIEF: A Malawian preacher at a house in South Dublin where friends of Rudo Mawere gathered for a prayer service
A COMMUNITY’S SHARED GRIEF: A Malawian preacher at a house in South Dublin where friends of Rudo Mawere gathered for a prayer service

Joanna Kiernan and Jim Cusack

It is expected that the body of Malawian murder victim Rudo Mawere will be released this week for repatriation to her home country.

Ms Mawere, a 26-year-old business student, whose lifeless body was stuffed into a sports bag measuring just 2ft by 4ft, and abandoned at 7pm last Saturday on the footpath, was found on Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin last Sunday morning.

It is thought that Rudo's killer was on the way to the Phoenix Park, but became startled by passing sirens.

The body of Zimbabwean born Jasper Taruvinga, 36, who also used the alias Jasper Dube, with whom she was believed to be in a relationship, was discovered in a wooded area in North Kent in England on Wednesday.

It appears that he took his own life and there are claims that a note was found near his body admitting to Ms Mawere's murder.

Ms Mawere had been living in a flat on Leinster Road in Rathmines and was studying business in the BCT Institute on Dublin's Parnell Square.

A spokesperson for the college said this week: "We are very sorry about what happened with her, especially as she is an international student. She doesn't know anyone in terms of relatives in Dublin."

Ms Mawere had also worked in St Luke's Hospital as a part-time cleaner, where a memorial mass was held for her on Friday afternoon.

Shaken colleagues and friends from both the Irish and African communities consoled each other during the service which was also attended by the Malawian Honourary Consul in Dublin, Fr Patrick O'Malley.

Patrick Banda, of the Malawi Association in Dublin, told the Sunday Independent this week of the grief and shock that has engulfed their small community and beyond.

"We are actually trying to organise mass on Sunday where we can gather together and pray for Rudo, and share the experience which we are reeling from. It's a shock to everybody really, people, they cannot believe and understand that this has really happened," he said.

"It is not only Malawians that are involved in the grief, there are other nationalities as well like South Africans and Zimbabweans and many other nationalities. We are all neighbours; so it's a real shock to everybody. We have heard from so many Irish people and they are also offended by what has happened here."

Ms Mawere had previously advertised her services as an au pair, stating on a website in 2010 that she had a "passion for children since I was young. I love being around kids."

She told her friends that she had lent money to Mr Taravinga/Dube and was going to his flat in Aughrim Street in Stoneybatter last Saturday evening to confront him over the return of her money.

Gardai are now trying to establish the movements, before and after the killing, of Mr Taruvinga/Dube, who had previously been living in the Midlands in England.

It is believed Ms Mawere was in a relationship with Mr Taruvinga/Dube.

The amount of money she had lent him is not known but was apparently vital to Ms Mawere's plans to return to Malawi.

It is believed he travelled north to Belfast on Sunday last and caught a ferry to Scotland then made his way south to Kent, possibly intent on travelling on to the Continent.

His body was found hanging from a tree in Higham in Kent by a man walking his dog last Wednesday.

A friend, Alindafe Malinda, from Malawi, who attends the same human resources diploma class at the Business and Computer Training Institute (BCT), described her as a "cheerful person".

The killing comes seven years after the high-profile murder in Ireland of the daughter of Malawi's chief justice.

No one has been brought to justice for the murder of Paiche Unyolo Onyemaechi, 25, whose decapitated body was found at Piltown, Co Kilkenny, on July 23, 2004.

The mother of two sons had been missing for three weeks before the discovery. Ms Unyolo Onyemaechi was the daughter of the Malawian chief justice, Leonard Unyolo. Gardai believe Ms Unyolo Onyemaechi was murdered after refusing to work as a prostitute in Waterford where she had been living with her children.

The main suspect fled the country and has not been heard of since. Paiche's head was never recovered and gardai were unable to establish if it was dumped elsewhere or was used as part of a "ju-ju" witchcraft ritual.

The main suspect was from a region of Nigeria where ju-ju rituals using parts of dead bodies are still practised.

Friends and colleagues of Ms Mawere have set up a fund to assist her family in repatriating Rudo's body to Malawi.

Account details for contributions to the fund: reference 'Rudo' at Permanent TSB 99-06-58 A/C No 17197136, O'Connell Street, Dublin.

People can also contact the Honourary Consul for Malawi, Fr Patrick O'Malley, 21 Leeson Park, Dublin 6, at 01 4960888.

Sunday Independent

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