A 16-year-old boy from Gweru was found dead on the pavement in the city’s CBD after sleeping out in the freezing cold.
The recent cold snap that has hit Zimbabwe seems to have claimed the life of one of Gweru’s well-known homeless teenagers.
Witnesses discovered the body of the boy, a known mental patient who lived on the streets, early Wednesday morning.
“We can only say the cause of death once the autopsy results come in,” said police Inspector Mahoko.
Dealers in the CBD who knew the teen said they were sh0cked by the tragedy. “I interacted with him yesterday. He was smiling and taking photos with a phone. I never thought I’d see his lifeless body today,” one said.
Others said the boy would politely ask for food and entertain people with his stories. “We knew he had family in Ascot, but he rarely went there. He slept on pavements under cardboard boxes,” a dealer said.
The night before his body was found, Gweru experienced slight showers and temperatures were predicted to plunge as low as 4 degrees Celsius.
The death of the homeless boy has highlighted the need for society to remember the vulnerable during harsh weather. As the cold snap continues, many others may be at risk of similarly freezing to death on the streets.