The Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed that the Zimbabwean national Nyasha Mugwagwa who went missing in the coastal town of Palma in Mozambique on March 24 was killed by insurgents.
The 38-year-old was among 12 people that were killed and Zimbabwe’s government is now working with Mozambican authorities to identify the deceased in order to repatriate him back to the country.
The permanent secretary said under such conditions, pathological expertise is required to identify the bodies.
“The government of Zimbabwe is therefore working with the government of Mozambique with a view to identifying the bodies. Once one of those bodies is confirmed to be that of Mugwagwa, the government would facilitate the repatriation process,” he indicated.
Mugwagwa was married to a Mozambican national and the couple, who had set up home in the port city of Beira, had a one-year-old daughter.
Ambassador Manzou noted that the foreign affairs ministry through Zimbabwe’s embassy in Mozambique continued to work closely with Mozambican authorities and the companies in Palma to account for all Zimbabweans that were working in that town.
This is after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the previous statement of April 8, 2021, confirmed that one Zimbabwean was yet to be accounted for.
“I would like t take this opportunity to invite all those whose beloved are still missing to be in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Tarde on telephone number +263 242 794681 to 5 or 727 005 Consular Department,” said the permanent secretary.
Meanwhile, the Mugwagwa family disclosed that Nyasha died on March 28.
“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Nyasha,” the family said in a statement. “This occurred on March 28 in Palma during an attack on the town by insurgents.”
The family said no other comments would be relayed at this point in time, “as you can understand the family is devastated in shock and tremendous pain.”
“We express sincere thanks to family, friend and the media who have given us wonderful support at this dreadful time. The family would also like to extend and heartfelt gratitude to the government of Zimbabwe, who assisted behind the scenes through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy in Mozambique,” said the family.
Mugwagwa’s family and friends also requested for privacy, time and space as they grieved the loss of their loved one.
“The family is eternally grateful for your love, understanding and prayers of support during this time of indescribable grief. Nyasha led a beautiful and blessed life. He will be fondly remembered and terribly missed by his family and friends. The family will provide details in due course when we are in a better place,” said Mugwagwa’s family.
Reports said Zimbabwean survivors from Palma claimed more Zimbabweans died during the attack that lasted several days, as the terrorists targeted areas where foreign workers and contractors lived.
Survivors reported that the heavily armed Islamists went door-to-door, looting and killing occupants.
Many were beheaded and their bodies left lying in the streets. Hundreds were airlifted and others escaped by boat as fighting raged.
Reports noted the Mozambican army regained control of the coastal town, after several days of fighting when the terrorists had killed dozens and looted shops.