Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
AN unidentified man is suspected to have committed suicide by hanging himself on a thorny tree in a bushy area between Bulawayo’s Paddonhurst suburb and the city centre.
A passerby stumbled on his body on Monday morning but failed to realise he was hanging.
A source who declined to be named said the passerby became suspicious when he saw the man seemingly standing on the same position after 2PM on the same day.
“There is a young man who saw him in the morning while passing by. He told us that he thought the man could have been urinating and did not pay attention to him. But later in the day he used the same route and saw the man still standing on the same position.
“He said he drew closer and discovered that the man was hanging from a thorny tree,” said a vendor who operates near where the incident occurred.
She said the man who discovered the hanging body alerted other people who were nearby and they called the police.
“We also went to see and from a distance you would assume the man was just standing. His feet were almost touching the ground. He was carrying a satchel on his back. We are not sure what was in the bag,” she said.
The vendor said none of the residents who gathered at the scene were able to identify the body.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube said the deceased could be between 30 and 40 years of age and had no identification particulars on him.
“We’re investigating the death of a man who was found hanging on a thorny tree on Monday in a suspected suicide case. His body was found by a passerby who later informed the police,” said Asst Insp Ncube.
“He was wearing a pair of black shoes, brown denim trousers and a black t-shirt. He is approximately between 30 and 40 years of age. He was found hanging with a plastic industrial tying string around his neck.”
He said his body was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals for postmortem.
Asst Insp Ncube said those with missing relatives should approach Bulawayo’s Central Police Station.
He urged members of the public to always carry identification particulars so that they can be identified in case of a mishap.
Last month, another unidentified man allegedly hanged himself near Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds.
Police recently expressed concern over the increase in suicide cases in the country.
Statistics released by police revealed that 636 people committed suicide last year compared to 474 cases recorded the previous year.
In 2016, 489 men committed suicide compared to 348 who ended their lives in 2015 while 147 women killed themselves last year and 126 committed suicide in 2015.
Social commentators have said more men are committing suicide as they cannot handle social pressure brought by economic challenges.