Mystery death at police residence. . . Cops investigate suicide as family cries murder
Tanaka Mrewa, Chronicle Reporter
MYSTERY surrounds the death of a Bulawayo man who allegedly plunged to his death from a 13-storey building that houses police officers in the city centre.
His family insists he may have been murdered while police are investigating a case of suicide.
Police officers found Craig Phiri (21), of Tshabalala suburb, dead on a fire escape on the ground floor at African Life Building, also known as Southampton Building, on Thursday around 8PM.
A family source said his mother was the last person to see him alive when he left the house two hours earlier.
Mr Russel Phiri, Craig’s brother, yesterday told The Chronicle a post-mortem was inconclusive on the cause of death.
He said the family was bothered about “inconsistencies” surrounding Craig’s death.
“As far as we know, he doesn’t know anyone at that building. His name wasn’t even recorded at the visitors’ register downstairs. We wonder how he gained entry into that closely guarded building,” said Russell.
The family, Russel said, needed closure by getting to the bottom of how his brother ended up dead at the building.
“If there is anyone who can come out and give information on the last person he talked to and what he was doing at the building, it would help us as a family,” he said.
Another family member who declined to be named said Craig’s phone was found on his body with all the contacts and call history deleted.
“Only his mother’s number was left on the phone. Even the call history and messages were all deleted. We just feel like there is more to what could have transpired. On Thursday he told his mother he wanted to get some things in town and left around 6PM. He told her he wouldn’t be gone for long although he didn’t specify what his business was,” said the source.
The source said police were able to trace Craig’s next of kin at around 1AM, about five hours after they had found his body.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said:
“I can confirm that a man was found dead around 8PM on Thursday night last week at Southampton Building in the central business district in a suspected suicide case. We urge members of the public to desist from committing suicide. People should try and seek help when they are facing challenges rather than taking their own lives.”
Craig was buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo yesterday.