A young woman died at a musical concert in Bulawayo on Saturday night after jumping over a stadium precast concrete wall fortified with razor wire, before being hung by her jacket.
The unidentified woman, thought to be in her mid-20s, was discovered unconscious shortly before 3AM on Sunday by a man taking a comfort break near Gate 3 of the Queens Sports Club which was being used as a VVIP entrance.
Deepening the mystery, on the other side of the wall, police found a man also unconscious, apparently drunk out of his wits. He was handcuffed and taken away after regaining consciousness.
The woman’s body was lowered to the ground by party goers and an ambulance called – but ambulance services said they had no fuel.
The ensuing confusion was witnessed by a ZimLive reporter.
A police search of the woman’s body yielded a Samsung phone, $15 bond notes and a sachet with a powdered brown substance that looked suspiciously like an illicit drug.
Our reporter witnessed police officers apparently not trained to render any first aid. When our reporter offered to drive the woman to hospital, a female police officer at the scene said she had called her “boss” – but it would be another hour before a police van pulled up and both the man and woman were taken to Mpilo Central Hospital.
Hospital sources said the woman was pronounced dead on arrival, while the man – suspected to have had a hand in the incident – was given the all-clear.
The man told police officers that he did not know the mystery woman, and insisted that it was the first time seeing her. At one point, he told officers that all the woman needed was sex, and she would be okay.
Police will try to establish if the unidentified man helped the woman to use an undesignated entry point which has a tree close to the wall on the outside, and why he also suddenly fell unconscious.
Our correspondent witnessed police going through the woman’s phone, which showed that she had made a call to one Ricky at around 2221 hours on Saturday night.
She had also sent a message to another individual asking the person to come to the gate with R300 to enable her to get into the concert which featured a cast of Zimbabwean and South African artists including Winky D, Mafikizolo and Nasty C.
The woman’s last call and message will give police a rough timeline of how and when she met her fate.
ZimLive showed a doctor pictures of the woman hanged from the razor wire with her jacket, with her hands locked in a vertical position.
The doctor said he did not believe the potential twisted shoulders would cause death, instead suggesting that the woman could have died from a blocked breathing passage or airway.
“I would suggest she ran out of time. It was critical that she be found soon after the mishap, and for a medical professional to quickly attend to her,” the doctor said, asking not to be named for professional reasons.
Horrified celebrities including former Zimbabwe captain Benjani Mwaruwari and radio legend Ezra Tshisa Sibanda were among a crowd that went to catch a glimpse of the tragic woman.
The concert marketed as ‘Bulawayo Shutdown’ was bankrolled by the Universal Music Group with Skyz Metro FM partnering. Skyz Metro boss Qhubani Moyo, who is also a commissioner with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, was among those who helped the woman to the ground together with police officers.
The concert was poorly supported with around 2,000 people in attendance. Many took to social media to blame expensive ticket prices in the midst of a deepening economic crisis for staying at home. The cheapest ticket was R250, and the most expensive pegged at R900.