A 16-year-old Gweru teenager was found dead in the city’s Central Business District Wednesday morning after sleeping in the open, amid freezing temperatures.
The recent cold spell which hit most parts of the country seems to have had a hand in the death of one of Gweru’s well-known teenagers who lives on the streets.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Midlands Spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed that an eyewitness discovered the body of the teenager early Wednesday.
“I can confirm that an eyewitness discovered the body of a 16-year-old on the pavement. The boy was a known mental patient who ran away from his home to stay on the streets. We can only ascertain the cause of the death once the postmortem results have been released,” said Inspector Mahoko.
Dealers in the CBD who used to interact with the late teenager have been shaken by the sad news.
“When I arrived at around 7 am to open my shop I found a body lying with police details attending to the scene. I interacted with him yesterday when he was taking pictures with a phone asking him where he got it, but he just laughed it off. Sadly, today we are waking up to such sad news,” said one dealer.
Another dealer added, “I knew him as a humorous character who would politely ask for food from people. He would bring a great deal of entertainment through his humorous stories. Yesterday I was asking him where he got the phone he was flushing, and he said he had picked it up. We were with him until late, it was around 0100hrs when we left him.”
“We knew that he had relatives in Ascot, but he barely went there. He would sleep on pavements covered in cardboard boxes,” stated another Gweru dealer.
The recent cold spell sweeping across the southern parts of the country saw Gweru having slight showers Tuesday afternoon, with the Meteorological Service Department predicting temperatures as low as four degrees Celsius for the city.
The death of the Gweru teenager in freezing temperatures has renewed debate on the need for society to remember the less privileged in times of unfriendly weather conditions.