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Zimbabwe NGOs Looking Into Roadside Murders Of Student, Two Others

Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations are investigating the apparent murders last week in Harare of a student from the University of Zimbabwe and two other men whose identities are not known or which authorities have not made public.

The Zimbabwe National Students Union put out a statement Monday saying all three homicide victims were university students, but the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said its own investigation had identified just one of the slain men as a student. Tafirenyika Mugwidi was a second-year humanities student at the University of Zimbabwe.

All of the victims were found in a secluded area along the road from Harare to Harare International airport, stripped of their clothes, the NGOs said. Mugwidi was found dead Friday and the two others were taken to a hospital where they died later.

Mugwidi was buried in Mhondoro, Mashonaland West, on Tuesday, after a coroner determined that he had been murdered, nongovernmental sources said.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said that he could not comment immediately on the apparent murders.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesman McDonald Lewanika, coordinator of the Students Solidarity Trust, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the three men were victims of the economic crisis which now obliges people to walk long distances, leaving them vulnerable to random violence.

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