Malawi: Mzuni Student Suicide Brings About Mixed Reactions

Death of a Mzuzu University (Mzuni), Gospel Khoza, who is believed to have died after stabbing himself in the neck while in his hostel around Dunduzu has been received with mixed reactions as, while others think the suicide version of the story is "a mere stunt" some are suggesting that it is high time the country started debating the topic suicide seriously.

Mzuni publications directorate, in a statement signed by its directors--Emmanuel Mwenye and Aaron Davis--confirmed the death of Khoza who was a third year Bachelor of Arts (BA) Cultural Heritage student.

'Question marks'

According to northern region police spokesman, Maurice Chapola, who said the matter was still being investigated, 22-year-old Khoza is alleged to have taken poisonous stuff before stabbing himself with a knife.

Reports indicate that an empty bottle of acid and a knife stained with blood were found in his room.

But observations have questioned the ordeal arguing to some extent, it does not make sense.

"Committing suicide by stabbing oneself to death? Well, that's a rare case," Anjazi Chipambana opined.

Another, Tabitha Kayira, courted in the possibility of foul play, saying someone might have murdered Khoza and put the acid in his room for cover up.

"It's high time we employed homicide experts in police service. Also, we need journalists that are learned beyond communication... . They should know how to dig deeper in suspicious deaths like this one," said Kayira.

'Postmortem'

A postmortem conducted at Mzuzu Central Hospital (MCH) revealed that cause of death was "due to stab wounds."

However, reports on campus that could not be independently verified suspected Khoza "might have taken that route" after he recently broke up with his girlfriend.

Nyasa Times understands that, prior to his death, Khoza had "been having some depressing moments for some days" which could not be figured out.

It is also understood that Khoza was due to repeat an academic semester for underperformance as per the University's requirements.

A note on a wall in his room reads: 'Pepani komano munthune ndatopa.'

Below the note, there are sets of four and five figures, on of which reflects his birth year.

But

'Depression'

Scores of commentators reacting of to the development lamented that cases of suicide in the country, especially amongst the youths, were on the rise because discussions on the topic were not exhaustive.

Another social commentator, Madalitso Khomba, married Khoza's death to how terrible the issue of depression had become in the country.

"We need affordable mental health facilities in the country. Many people are going through stuff that they don't know what to do or where to turn to. I believe that many lives wouldn't have been lost if there were facilities.

"Minister of Health and his crew should look into this issue with seriousness. We are losing many young people to suicide, who would have helped in developing our nation with their skills and talents," he said.

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