A Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) pastor based in Francistown, Botswana has been linked to the alleged murder of a suspected Zimbabwean commercial sex worker who was found dead in her house in Maun on Christmas eve.
According to reports by one of Botswana’s popular newspapers, The Voice, the married pastor, Marvin Pelonomi Radihephi (38) is suspected to have killed 48-year-old Warricious Bhunu after he allegedly solicited sex services from her.
For the alleged grisly murder Radihephi has since appeared before Maun Magistrate Court where he was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody on condition that he reports every two weeks at Francistown Police Station.
Police are reportedly waiting for DNA and postmortem results, which will guide the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on how to proceed with the case.
DNA tests from a used condom are also expected to be used to either link or exonerate Radihephi.
Circumstances as reported by The Voice, are that Bhunu was hired by Radihephi for services for two days and the pastor is alleged to have solicited sex services, two days before Christmas Day when he was visiting his home village of Maun.
Bhunu was alleged to have been found dead in her house located along a street commonly known as Harare at Sanyedi ward the next morning.
“The pastor allegedly travelled from Francistown where he resides with his wife, met a woman friend in Maun and they spent most of the day together. Later on, he is said to have dropped the woman off, but she allowed him to use her car, a VW,” reports The Voice.
Further reports The Voice: “It appears the pastor then went to spend a night with a sex worker at her rented room as the same car was spotted parked outside the house.
“It was seemingly a normal morning as other tenants were going about their morning chores, others doing laundry and some sweeping when Radihephi allegedly emerged from the room and sat in the car on Christmas Eve, which was on a Sabbath.
“Allegedly nobody paid much attention until around six o’clock when one of Bhunu’s friends came around to check on her.”
“She greeted Radihephi, whose vehicle was parked right in front of Bhunu’s doorstep, and asked him if the woman was in.
“She asked him where the woman who lived in that room was, and he told her she was inside. She then knocked at the door before going in.”
The paper said a witness, who stays in the neighbourhood of the sex worker, added that she was one of the people that came rushing to the scene when the sex worker’s lady friend who found her dead screamed for help.
“Bhunu was allegedly lying naked and motionless on the floor and beside her were some used condoms.
“Meanwhile, Radihephi, who was said to have been sitting in the parked car, is said to have sped off, but not before witnesses had noted down the car registration numbers,” further reports The Voice.
The matter was then reported to the police and the car owner tracked down. She is said to have told the police that she had lent the vehicle to pastor Radihephi, who was later arrested while in possession of the same car.
Bhunu’s body has since been repatriated back home and was buried last month.