By Judith Sibanda
Dete, May 06, 2016 – A 67-year-old headman from the Matabeleland North area was found hanging from a tree near his homestead three days after he went missing.
Makwandala village head Slyvester Nengwasha’s death left the Dete community shocked with family members saying he neither had any suicidal tendencies in his life nor did he show any signs of depression when he went missing.
Nengwasha was a former senior employee at the Hwange Colliery Company.
His wife, Ellen said the headman was found two kilometres from his homestead after villagers spent several days searching for him in the thick bush.
“He had been missing for the past few days but we did not know what was happening. He bottled everything inside so I cannot tell you exactly what made him take away his life,” she said.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) morning some people said they had seen him around our homestead and in the bush and we decided to follow the lead as villagers.
“After an all-day search, some saw his body tied hanging from a tree.” she said.
Another traditional elder said the deceased killed himself using the same method used by his late father and brother.
“This is not the first incident in the family. Some few years ago, his father was found hanging on the same spot and same type of a tree and months later his brother who however was lucky to survive after the rope broke is now mentally disturbed a bit.
“His body was found next to where his father’s grave is and he had interlocked the rope tightly through several branches to make sure that it does not break before going to get a big rock that was on the grave to step on it before pushing it aside,” he said, adding that it was a family curse and nothing to do with domestic violence.
Nengwasha’s body had not yet starting decomposing, an indication villagers believe showed that he had not been dead for a long time.
Dete’s Chief Nekatambe said the community was still trying to come to terms with the traditional leader’s death as he was hard working and dedicated to developing his area.
“He was a nice gentleman who knew his job,” Nekatambe said.
“Up to now we do not know what happened and we will never get the answers.
“Hwange Colliery Company provided with transport and groceries to help throughout until burial, which is likely to happen on Saturday,” he said.
Nengwasha is survived by his wife and five children.