A SIX-YEAR-OLD Zvishavane boy who disappeared on Monday morning on his way to school was yesterday found dead in a bush with his body stashed in a sack along the Masvingo-Zvishavane Highway.

Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko confirmed the tragic incident and said investigations were still underway to ascertain the cause of death.

In an interview, the mother of the boy, Takudzwa Siwanza from Isaya Park suburb said she made a police report after the head at Makwasha Primary School informed her that her son, Elohim had not reported to school.

“He went missing on Monday after I made enquiries from the school head why my son had delayed coming back home only to discover that he had not reported to school that day. We reported the matter to the police and we could not find him until I received news that the body of a boy in school uniform had been found in Lot 4 area near Masvingo road, only to discover it was my son,” the distraught mother said.

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The same child was once stolen while he was still nine months old before the criminal was apprehended by members of the public in the town’s Mandava light industry area, Siwanza added.

A police detective, who attended the scene where the body of the boy was found, said he must have been strangled to death.

“The head was swollen and the boy suffered strong bleeding from the nose and head. It also seems he was strangled to death. I suspect it must be a case of ritual murder and his murderer might have wanted his blood before dumping the body in a sack on the roadside,” he said.

Meanwhile, a 28-year old Zvishavane man, Sylvester Sibanda has been remanded in custody for kidnapping an 11-year-old pupil (name withheld for ethical reasons) on October 9.

Sibanda is alleged to have tied the girl with a red cloth before carrying her to the top of a mountain adjacent to Zvishavane’s Escrow and Makwasha area.

The girl managed to escape while Sithole was relieving himself and she alerted members of the public, leading to the accused’s arrest.

Zvishavane district schools inspector Tranos Mahlokozera urged parents to accompany their children to school to ensure their safety.