Homeless boy (16) succumbs to cold weather The suspected street kid whose body was discovered on Wednesday

Patrick Chitumba – [email protected]

A 16-YEAR-OLD homeless boy in Gweru was on Wednesday found dead in the city centre and it is suspected that he succumbed to hypothermia following the cold spell that hit most parts of the country.

Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo and other parts of the country, recorded a big drop in temperatures, as an icy cold front moved across Zimbabwe from South Africa, making its way into the northern parts of the continent.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) warned of a cold front, which is expected to move across the country with some cities such as Gweru recording a minimum temperature as low as three degrees Celsius.

Meteorological Services Department

Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can happen when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

Midlands provincial spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko identified the deceased as Nkosiyazi Ncube.

The body was discovered by a passerby early Wednesday morning lying on a pavement along Robert Gabriel Mugabe Street in the city centre.

“We confirm the death of a 16-year-old Gweru juvenile under unclear circumstances. The sudden death occurred on Wednesday at around 5 AM at Chicken Inn pavement along R. G Mugabe Street,” said Insp Mahoko.

Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko

He said the teenager was allegedly a known mental patient who had reportedly fled his home to stay on the streets.

Insp Mahoko said they could only ascertain the cause of death once postmortem results have been released.

“It is alleged that Nkosiyazi Ncube, a male juvenile suspected to have been suffering from a mental illness, escaped from home on July 11. He was later found lying lifeless at around 5 AM and the matter is under investigation,” he said.

The body was taken to Gweru Provincial Hospital for postmortem.

One of the first people to arrive at the scene said:

“When I arrived at around 7 AM to open my shop I found a body lying with police officers attending to the scene.”

The MSD warned of a cold front, which is expected to clear out of the country by today.

In a statement, the MSD said the cold spell would be accompanied by strong gusts of cold wind.

“The entire country should be cold and windy in the morning. Mostly cloudy and drizzly conditions are expected over the southern and eastern parts of the country (namely Matabeleland South, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Masvingo, south of Midlands, Manicaland, south of Mashonaland East and Harare metropolitan) cool by day, becoming cold overnight.

Matabeleland North, north of Midlands (Kwekwe to Gokwe), Mashonaland West and Central are anticipated to be mostly sunny and mild by day becoming cold towards evening,” read the statement.

MSD urged those with poultry projects to monitor fowl run temperatures, particularly for day-old chicks, as they are sensitive to cold weather.

“Vulnerable groups such as old people, children, and those with chronic and weather-related conditions should stay warm,” read the statement.

The department urged members of the public to stay warm to avoid triggering respiratory problems.

“Windy and cool conditions may affect the health of vulnerable members of society and trigger respiratory-related illnesses in all persons and poultry, especially day-old chicks, are sensitive to overnight decline in temperatures.

“Differences between night and daytime temperature can affect the body’s perception of the cold,” reads the statement.

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