There is widespread outrage and shock in Zimbabwe over the death of opposition activist Moreblessing Ali whose heavily mutilated body was found in a plastic bag that had been dumped in a well.
The 35-year-old woman was a senior member of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). She was abducted on May 24 and reportedly bundled into a car by a mob of ruling party supporters in Chitungwiza, a town located approximately 20km from Harare.
She was never seen again until her mutilated body which had been cut into two parts was discovered.
The level of torture shocked many people who are now demanding justice.
Members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) have been unleashing a reign of terror on opposition members ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ali became the latest casualty with her party members now calling for the immediate arrest of Zanu PF members behind her abduction and murder.
Ali’s mutilated body was discovered on Saturday, June 11, in a shallow well in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza and was in two parts with her intestines in a plastic bag. Her dreadlocks had also been cut and pulled out.
The main opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) of Nelson Chamisa has since demanded for justice for Moreblessing and other members of the opposition that have previously been murdered.
“We need to demand justice and halt all these callous murders,” says CCC Welfare Secretary Maureen Kademaunga.
She referred to other party members who had previously been killed by the ruling party members.
“Mboneni Ncube was stabbed to death by a spear at a CCC rally by a known ZANU PF thug,” she says, adding that the government appears to condone these acts as the suspect in the murder of Mboneni Ncube was never apprehended.
Langalihle Dube another member of the opposition was also murdered in his home by unknown intruders. Following Langalihle’s murder, no arrests have been made.
“And now Moreblessing Ali kidnapped by a known ZANU PF member and found murdered”, she states.
Since the discovery of Ali’s body, social media has been inundated with condolence messages from across the political divide.
“Zimbabwe is no longer a safe place for opposition activists, human rights defenders, and civil society leaders. My deepest sympathies to Moreblessing’s family,” said one citizen.
Police have issued a statement warning people against politicizing the death of Moreblessing.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson, Paul Nyathi in the statement accused the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC and human rights lawyers of putting pressure on ZRP.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is disturbed by some politicians, including some lawyers, who are issuing threats to government officials and the police in connection with this sad case. Some are openly inciting violence. The public is urged to be patient and allow the current criminal investigations to proceed smoothly,” reads the police statement in part.
The police have promised to invest all they can to ensure that suspects are brought to book without fail.
“However, any form of intimidation or threats under the guise of politics or social media antics are being monitored by the police. Politicians should not interfere with criminal investigations and allow the due processes of the law to be followed,” reads another part of the terse warning.
However, many people have lambasted the statement saying it was reckless and cruel.
Meanwhile in a sad turn of events scores of Zanu PF members descended on Moreblessing’s funeral this Monday blocking CCC members from attending.
The Zanu PF activists led by their local councillor, Masimba Masimba said they did not want anyone to wear party regalia as this would fan violence.
Masimba also openly announced that the funeral would not go ahead if CCC officials attended.
A spokesperson for CCC, Fadzai Mahere tweeted on Monday afternoon that mourners were being harassed, especially women.
“About 20 CCC women who had come to mourn Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime have been kidnapped by Zanu PF thugs who are also beating up family members. Zanu PF has ordered the family to leave the funeral. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is recording. Our security team is on the ground to bring sanity,” added Mahere.
The lawyer representing Moreblessing’s family, Job Sikhala who is also a member of the CCC party said he had been given instructions to follow up and find justice for the deceased.
“The family of Moreblessing Ali has instructed me to announce to the public that there will be no burial of Ali until her murderers are apprehended,” he said.
By the time of filing this report, autopsy results had not been shared.