Another political activist has been found dead the Zimbabwe’s December by-elections approach.
- Bishop Tapfumanei Masaya, a member of the CCC, was kidnapped and found dead three days later.
- The CCC has blamed his death on continuing political violence ahead of the 9 December by-elections.
- Masaya is just one of many opposition activists who have been abducted, only to later be found dead.
The murder of a Zimbabwean opposition activist who was
allegedly kidnapped on Saturday last week, only for his corpse to be found
dumped on Monday, is believed to be linked to ongoing political violence.
Bishop Tapfumanei Masaya – a member of Citizens Coalition
for Change (CCC), the biggest opposition party in the country – was abducted on
Saturday morning in Mabvuku-Tafara, where the recall of party secretary-general
Sengezo Tshabangu led to a by-election won by Phibion Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi.
Mabvuku-Tafara was one of the highly contested seats in
August 2023 when Kufahakutizwi beat Zanu-PF’s Scott Sakupwanya, who had brought
retired US boxing champion Floyd Mayweather for a morning
workout in the area.
Sakupwanya also paid cash incentives to families in the area
on his way to losing the seat.
He wants the seat back, and Kufahakutizwi is also in the race
for the 9 December by-election.
Masaya’s disappearance and death
According to the CCC, Masaya was abducted while on the
campaign trail for Kufahakutizwi in Mabvuku on Saturday morning.
The party’s “peace ambassadors,” loosely meaning
the campaign team, searched for him to no avail.
The party said in a statement:
Shortly after his abduction on Saturday, our peace ambassadors were deployed to rescue and secure his safe return. However, they were unfortunately unable to locate him. The peace ambassadors devoted their entire Saturday and Sunday to searching for him, but they could not find him. On Monday, the peace ambassadors continued their search assignment.
On Monday, a corpse was discovered by the police, who took
it to the Rhodesville police station.
The police, in a statement, without mentioning the identity
of the deceased, said they were carrying out investigations.
On Tuesday, Masaya’s wife, Maria Zhuwawo, identified the
body of the deceased as that of her husband.
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi blamed the ruling Zanu-PF
and government for Masaya’s death.
Crackdown on opposition
In March last year, ahead of by-elections in Kwekwe, the
CCC’s Mboneni Ncube was stabbed to death with a spear by
suspected Zanu-PF supporters at a CCC rally in Kwekwe.
His sister, Judith Ncube, was kidnapped, also by suspected
Zanu-PF supporters, who threatened to kill her if she continued demanding
answers about her brother’s murder.
The most prominent of many killings was that of Moreblessing
Her body was found mutilated two weeks after she went
missing in June last year.
Her suspected killer was Pius Jamba (real name: Pius Mukandi),
a Zanu-PF activist.
The matter is still before the courts, and this week, the
High Court was told that post-mortem results conducted on her body were yet to
Job Sikhala, her initial lawyer, has been in custody for
almost 17 months on allegations that he incited violence to avenge Ali.
In early August, just a few weeks before the general
elections, CCC activist Tinashe Chitsunge was killed in skirmishes with Zanu-PF supporters in Glen
Norah, Harare, as tempers flared ahead of the general elections.
Early this month, CCC legislator Takudzwa Ngadziore managed to stream himself being
attacked by assailants on Facebook Live.
He was later found naked and dumped in a mining area in
Mazowe, 50km north of Harare. He claimed to have been injected with an unknown
Womberaishe Nhende, an elected CCC councillor for Harare’s
Glen Norah Ward 27, and activist Sonele Mukhuhlani were allegedly kidnapped and
tortured before being left on the outskirts of the capital on 2
Both described abuses comparable to Ngadziore’s.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/another-opposition-activist-found-dead-in-zimbabwe-ahead-of-by-elections-20231114
Publish date : 2023-11-14 19:35:54