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Catholic nun sings from the grave

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2017 at 07:38hrs | Views
'Kunyangwe Zvino Tenzi Anoti' is a Roman Catholic song which marks the beginning of Lent.

It is a signature tune for Ash Wednesday service, which is part of the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as Easter.

The song composed from the book of Joel 2 Verse 12, implores believers to self-retrospect and shun sin.

For the Kamundiya family, the song brings sad memories, not only for Christ's death but also for the song's composer, Sister Plaxedes Kamundiya.

She was brutally raped and murdered in cold blood a fortnight ago during a prayer session in Mutoko.

"One outstanding thing about her was her soothing voice," said a teary Mrs Enesia Kamundiya, Plaxedes' mother.

"She lived, loved and composed beautiful music. She stood out amongst her peers."

The 49 year-old nun, affectionately known as 'Ruvadiki', which means little flower, as she was inspired by St Therese of Lisieux, France; is believed to have been murdered by a mentally challenged man.

Her family, although still grieving, believes she lived her dream and fulfilled her parents' wishes.

"My husband and I were Catholics and raised our children the Catholic way. At the age of 14 she considered becoming a nun," said Mrs Kamundiya.

"We were not shocked but filled with joy, especially my late husband. He was a devoted Catholic and it was his dream to have at least one of our children become a nun or a priest."

In 1990, Plaxedes took her first vows and the final ones in 1996, to confirm she was in it for good.

She then trained as a teacher and worked at several schools, including Hartmann House in the capital.

On the fateful day, Sister Plaxedes had gone to Mutoko to prepare for St George College Altar servers retreat.

It is reported that the late nun was told about a place of prayer called the Blue Cross, popularly known as the Glorious Cross of Life. She expressed interest to visit the place before travelling back to Harare.

At around 10am, Sister Plaxedes went to the cross at the mountain foot. It is there that she faced her violent death.

Her killing reads like a horror movie.

While deep in prayer, suspected rapist and murderer Enock Potani (20) allegedly ambushed and struck the nun with a stone in the head before raping her.

Enock is then said to have ripped off Sister Plaxedes' clothes before burying her under tree shrubs. It is alleged he later dumped her body in a nearby dam.

As hours passed by, Sister Plaxedes' colleagues from Mutoko became worried about her long absence and conducted a search.

At around 1pm, two teenage boys from a nearby orphanage saw Enock at the foot of the mountain.

The suspected murderer told the boys that Sister Plaxedes had left the cross after finishing her prayers.

A close church associate who spoke on condition of anonymity said, "Enock was once a mental patient but he had recovered. But the incident shocked everyone in the community.

"When we went back for further searching the following day at around 5am, we found him at the cross. Enock told us he had seen Sister Plaxedes the previous day but she had left for Mushimbo.

"It looked like he had slept at the cross. This says a lot about his mental health."

After about an hour, Sister Plaxedes' body was found floating in a nearby dam.

The matter was reported to the police who retrieved the body.

Police quizzed Enock and he confessed that he had murdered Sister Plaxedes.

Enock led the police to a nearby farm where a blood-stained dress (church regalia), shoes, a bra and hair band belonging to the now-deceased were recovered wrapped in a blood-stained white sack.

He also gave the police blood-stained underwear and black skin tights which were stashed in his suitcase.

Enock is now in remand prison, awaiting trial.

A soft spoken Mrs Kamundiya said, "She left a wound that will never heal. We find comfort in some of her favourite songs."

The heart-broken woman then lowered her head and started singing one of Sister Plaxedes' favourite hymns, 'Kunyangwe Zvino Tenzi Anoti', as she visibly fought back a flood of tears.
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