A Zimbabwean opposition activist, Tapfumaneyi Masaya, was discovered dead following his abduction on Saturday during a political campaign near Harare, as reported by the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party on Monday. This marks the second abduction of an opposition party member in recent weeks.
Masaya was reportedly forcibly taken into a vehicle by unidentified individuals while campaigning for the CCC’s candidate in the upcoming by-elections on December 9, according to the party. CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi revealed on Tuesday that Masaya had been subjected to torture and was later abandoned on the outskirts of Harare.
Following an extensive search, CCC members identified Masaya’s body at Parirenyatwa Hospital’s mortuary, situated approximately 5km from central Harare, Mkwananzi stated.
While Reuters could not independently verify these events, Zimbabwe has a historical backdrop of forced disappearances and fatalities involving political activists, dating back to the 1980s. The opposition has consistently accused the ruling ZANU-PF party of engaging in the torture and death of its activists.
Masaya’s tragic incident occurred merely two weeks after CCC lawmaker Takudzwa Ngadziore survived an abduction, torture, and subsequent dumping by armed men about 50km north of Harare.
On Monday, the police launched an investigation after a body was found in the vicinity where the CCC claimed Masaya was discovered, though the victim’s identity remained unconfirmed, according to Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi. As of Tuesday, there were no further updates from the police.
CCC spokesperson Mkwananzi urged the authorities to diligently pursue the investigation and bring the abductors to justice promptly. The opposition in Zimbabwe has persistently called for a fresh election since President Emmerson Mnangagwa secured a second term in August. CCC leader Nelson Chamisa labeled the vote a “gigantic fraud,” while the ruling ZANU-PF party has consistently denied the fraud allegations.