THE family of a Masvingo man whose lifeless body was found hanging from a tree near his in-law's homestead in Gutu early last year is demanding the exhumation of his body for a second postmortem as they suspect foul play.John Kanda (34), an airtime vendor, met his death when he had gone to see his wife, who was teaching in Gutu.

His mother Roselyn Kanda (65) told Sunday News recently that on 18 January 2014, Kanda travelled to Gutu to see his live-in girlfriend Ms Fortune Machakaire and a child that he had sired with her.

She said Kanda went to Machakaire's workplace where he saw her before proceeding to the Machakaire homestead, a few kilometres from the school, where the child was left by her mother in the custody of relatives.

A day later, Kanda's body was found hanging from a tree just near the Machakaire homestead with serious injuries on the head and hands.

A postmortem conducted on the body revealed that he died of asphyxia but the doctor ordered further investigation as he suspected foul play.

Ms Kanda was not convinced and she requested for an inquest which revealed almost similar results to the fact that John had committed suicide.

Despite the verdict given by the police and doctors, Ms Kanda is convinced that there was foul play given the state of her son's body when it was discovered and is demanding its exhumation so that a second complete postmortem could be conducted.

"I strongly suspect foul play on my son and call upon the responsible authority to order the exhumation of the body for another full postmortem. I want to know what exactly happened to my son which led to his death. I am convinced that he was murdered before being hanged so that it could appear as if he committed suicide," Ms Kanda said.

"The Machakaire family, especially the father, Timothy, is not co-operating with me. Whenever I ask them to assist in this matter they do not take me seriously; they ask me to look for them so that we can discuss the issue yet I am the bereaved. It is not fair especially when their daughter claims that they were not married yet my son is the one who sponsored her education from his savings as an airtime vendor."

Efforts to get a comment from Ms Machakaire proved fruitless as she hung up the phone the time she realised she was talking to the media.

Further efforts to talk to her yesterday proved fruitless but her father said he was waiting for Ms Kanda.

"I am prepared to entertain the Kanda family if they come although John was not our official son-in-law. I am waiting for them as we speak," he said.

Headman Musendo confirmed the incident but said he would remain guided by the two families on the matter.

"It is true that John was found hanging from a tree near the Machakaire homestead in my area of jurisdiction but we cannot say the Machakaire family is responsible. I am told the inquest was done by the courts and they ruled.

"We cannot be seen coming with another verdict; it will be in contempt of the court judgment," Headman Musendo said, when reached for comment.

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