Wednesday, 10 July 2024.

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Zimbabwe’s opposition activist buried two years after being murdered

By Chris Thompson

Zimbabwean opposition activist, Moreblessing Ali was finally buried on Saturday in the town of Chitungwiza, which is outside of Harare, two years after she was brutally killed.

In the Nyatsime area of Chitungwiza, in 2022, Ali, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), was kidnapped outside a pub.

Two weeks later, her dismembered body was discovered concealed in a well. Until Joe Sikhala, a high-ranking official and the family attorney, was freed, Ali’s family had refused to bury her disfigured remains.

He was taken into custody after claiming that members of the ruling Zanu-PF party had killed her. He was held in pre-trial custody for nearly two years before being granted a suspended prison sentence by a magistrate in January, at which point he was freed.

After being released from prison, Sikhala announced that Ali’s death would not have been in vain and resigned from the CCC.

“Her death will play a role in Zimbabwe’s political trajectory. She is going to inspire us to remain strong,” he said at her graveside.

According to Africanews, Wellington Ali, a brother to the slain activist, said the family was relieved that she had finally been buried, adding that they had “been through a lot”.

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Her sister, Mildred Ali, said the family was angry at the length of the jail sentence given to Pius Jamba, who was convicted of her murder.

“My sister was not murdered by one person. Of course one of her murderers, Pius Jamba, is locked up. But some of his accomplices are still roaming around freely after they killed our relative, cutting her life short,” she said.

Ali’s funeral was marred by clashes between different factions of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party of which she was a member, which has struggled to remain united since last year’s elections.

While the CCC took control of all major cities and towns in last year’s elections, it has since split into many tiny factions after its leader, Nelson Chamisa, quit the party in January.

There are growing concerns about the state of democracy in Zimbabwe after ZANU-PF regained its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, and is effectively governing without significant opposition.

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Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is an international writer with expertise in politics, business and public affairs.

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