By Nqobile Tshili
A Bulawayo man who was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly beating up his son to death before attempting to commit suicide has been released after a postmortem report concluded that the boy died from drinking poison.
Chronicle reported last week that Joseph Phiri from Sizinda suburb allegedly fatally assaulted his Form Two son Adam Phiri to death before attempting to commit suicide.
Phiri has since been released from police custody following the postmortem report.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele, yesterday confirmed Phiri’s release.
“What we have is information obtained through a post-mortem report whose findings concluded that the boy died from consuming a poisonous substance. There were no visible marks that he could have been assaulted. Even the police officers who attended the scene did not observe any marks pointing to the fact that he was assaulted. However, we are still investigating a case of sudden death. At the moment his father has been released from police custody,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
Sources said Phiri’s release has sparked outrage from residents who believed that he killed his son.
A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said most of the residents boycotted the boy’s burial last Thursday.
“Those who attended the burial refused to eat the family’s prepared meal as per custom associated with burials. They are also questioning why Phiri tried to commit suicide by drinking a poisonous substance if he had nothing to answer?” said a resident. “Some of residents still believe he has a case to answer as was claimed before. They are others who still believe that he killed his son.”
Phiri’s family refused to comment on the matter when The Chronicle approached them for comment.
“I only came here when everything had happened. So I don’t know what really transpired. As such I cannot comment on the matter,” said one of the relatives.
Ward 21 councillor, Tinevimbo Maposa, whose area covers Sizinda suburb said he is aware of the confusion regarding the boy’s death.
“I wasn’t around when it happened but yesterday (Thursday) I met the family who revealed that the post-mortem report concluded that the boy died from poisoning. I’m also aware that residents seem to be unhappy that he (Phiri) was released by the police. As a result they protested the decision in various ways,” said Clr Maposa.
A source last week said Phiri allegedly beat up his son after he broke a neighbour’s window pane. The Chronicle