What started as a grim discovery of a dead body in a polluted river near Lobengula Primary School in Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi township turned into a case of mistaken identity after the ‘deceased’ was found alive at a local watering hole.
School children had come across the body of a middle-aged man in the Mazayi River after school. Police and fire services retrieved the body, which they believed to be that of 43-year-old Arthur Davis based on the identification of the teenage relative. Led by the teenager, who thought the body was his uncle last seen wearing clothes like the dead man in the river, the police carried the body to the nearby family home.
When the body was taken to Davis’ house, some family members disagreed that it was him. “I know my uncle,” one niece said, insisting the body was not Davis. Their doubts turned out to be correct when Davis was later found enjoying beers with friends at Jika Jika bar.
The real identity of the actual deceased remains unknown, and investigations continue.
Residents had called on authorities to improve safety in the Mazayi Bridge area, saying it has become a hub for criminal activity. But this incident shows their bigger concern should be verifying the identities of dead bodies found in the river before notifying relatives.