THE body of a man suspected to be from Nguboyenja was found in Manwele River by children playing soccer at a football pitch in Makokoba just off Luveve Road yesterday.

Residents suspect that the man was strangled and his body dumped in the river. The dead man's skin was peeling off and his tongue was protruding from the mouth suggesting that the body might have been in the river for a number of days.

The body was barefooted, in denim trousers and a black sweater. The corpse was swarmed by green flies indicating that it was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

A Makokoba resident Elias Mpofu said children were playing soccer when their ball fell into the river. It was when they tried to retrieve it that they discovered the body covered with mattress springs.

"Children were playing football after school and their ball fell into the river. They discovered the body when retrieving the ball," Mpofu said.

Another resident Violet Ncube said a child identified the body of the man as that of his uncle when police were taking it away. She said the boy came looking for his uncle a couple of days ago and when he got to the scene yesterday, he positively identified the dead man as his uncle.

"There is a schoolboy who is assisting police with investigations. The boy identified the deceased as his uncle. He had been going to the river to check on him on numerous occasions," Ncube said.

Ncube said the boy indicated that his uncle was allegedly assaulted by some unidentified people from Mpopoma who used some chairs to beat him all over the body before throwing his dead body into the river.

Contacted for comment, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo advised the news crew to leave inquiries at his office indicating he would respond once he got back. The discovery of the body comes close to two months after two bodies of Mthabisi Dube and his lover Lokukhanya Ncube (19) were recovered from a drain in Nkulumane 12.

Police have since arrested two suspected murderers and they are set to appear in court soon over the matter. Several other Bulawayo residents (mainly men) have been found murdered in various parts of the city.

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