A nine-year-old boy from Epworth committed suicide on Friday morning after he was reportedly reprimanded by his mother.
Farai Munemo, a grade three pupil at Queensdale Primary School was found hanging on a rope tied to the wooden beam ceiling.
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Both the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the boy’s family rejected social media reports purporting that the death was a murder and the boy had been hit in the head and hanged by his stepmother.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told H-Metro that no foul play report or arrests have been made.
Speaking to the publication from his home in the Glenwood Epworth area, the deceased boy’s father, Michael Munemo, said he had hitherto failed to fathom how his nine-year-old and firstborn son is capable of committing suicide. He said:
Mwana aiterera, but suicide, I don’t believe he could intentionally commit suicide at his age because we know our son very well.
I could be wrong but it could be spirits behind this or television movies from which he picked up some things because he was too playful.
Munemo revealed that on the fateful day, he received a phone call from his neighbours advising him to return to his home urgently. He said:
On the day, I received a call from neighbours telling me to urgently come back home and I got so worried because they couldn’t tell me over the phone that my son had hanged himself.
I got home to see my son lying dead on the bed, he was taken down by neighbours and I feel so sorry for my wife who is still crying up to now.
My son would not commit suicide just because his mother told him off, I am devastated.
Munemo urged parents and guardians to closely monitor their kids, especially what they watch on television.
Audio messages from the mother, Felistas Mundere, narrating the ordeal have gone viral on social media. She is heard saying:
I only told him to stop beating up the child and he went to the spare room and he went for good my child Farai.
It’s hard, I didn’t even beat him up, I wonder what kind of spirit got into him Farai.
It’s hard to take in because I couldn’t hear him scream or anything, it’s hard.
A mental health expert and catholic priest father Tendai Reki Mashayamombe, said the suicide was a mental health issue. Said the priest:
These are purely mental health issues and one of the reasons is the influence of social media and television.
It’s not the time to blame anyone but to holistically look at the family setup.
It’s true that they know their son but there are other things that they do not know about their son.
There could be factors and forces unknown to the parents, for instance, his school, friends or neighbourhood, these are the areas that surround a child…