(RepublicanJournal.org) – An activist for a political opposition group in Zimbabwe was dragged from the streets and forced into one of multiple SUVs that ambushed him while he was campaigning. Police recovered his body, which had been dumped on the side of a road in Harare, a few days later. He appeared to have been tortured to death.
The body of Tapfumanei Masaya, a 51-year-old pastor, had allegedly sustained a disfiguring number of machete wounds in the course of the brutal murder. His wife identified the remains.
He and another campaigner had been going door-to-door in their efforts to promote candidates belonging to the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). The victim had been a vocal critic of recent election outcomes, which he and others of his political affiliation claimed had been tallied unfairly due to several irregularities.
BBC News states that another individual, Jeffrey Kalosi, was reportedly campaigning with Masaya when the assailants struck. The two were allegedly beaten and then taken into separate vehicles. For reasons that still remain unclear, the kidnappers later allowed the second activist, who was disabled, to go free.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who belongs to the ZANU-PF party, won re-election against CCC candidate, Nelson Chamisa, in August. Mnangagwa also won the previous election in 2018. The Guardian notes that CCC supporters claim voter suppression, late ballot arrivals, and other issues made the results illegal.
Masaya’s case is reportedly just one of many alleged kidnappings in the region that have specifically targeted CCC members and human rights activists. Another member of the opposition, Takudzwa Ngadziore, shared a recording of a man chasing him with a gun earlier in the month. He allegedly turned up naked in Harare after being tortured. Three others reportedly suffered similar fates between September and October.
Zanu-PF representatives claim their opposition is staging the brutal abductions in an effort to destroy the governing party’s image.
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