…Zanu PF frets over mysterious deaths
…Chokuda’s Gokwe memories evoked
THE name Moses Chokuda evokes memories of vengeance in a story that reads like a horror movie script with top politicians, Zanu PF activists and the deceased as main characters.
After being dragged without mercy around Gokwe business centre by Zanu PF activists, who included the son of former Midlands governor Jason Machaya, Chokuda, who had recently married and believed to be an MDC-T supporter, succumbed to the severe injuries.
This was to be the beginning of a fierce spiritual battle that saw him “taking charge” of his own war from a Gokwe mortuary in a fight he ultimately won after two years.
Not even the involvement of the police to try and arm-twist Chokuda’s father to bury his son could save the Machayas and neither could their political influence.
Mysterious deaths of the killers occurred while Chokuda would do the unthinkable as he controlled the mortuary by spilling blood on police officers and attendants who dared to force his metal coffin out of the mortuary.
Sometimes, it was confirmed, Chokuda would be found seated on his coffin directing operations on how other bodies should be arranged in the mortuary. On several occasions, Chokuda was said to have been seen at the Machaya farm in the Midlands herding cattle.
After two years of the spiritual fight, he was buried at his home, less than 10 kilometres away from Gokwe centre, after the killers had paid money and over 20 cattle to his family.
Eleven years after he was buried, the same script reads out in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, this time involving Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali (pictured). Over a month after Ali was murdered by a suspected Zanu PF activist, Nyatsime has known no peace and the ruling party activists are panicking.
Two Zanu PF officials who played different roles during the chaotic funeral of Ali have since died, hours apart, while the Ali family insists no burial will go ahead until some of their demands are met. Part of the demands include the release of their spokesperson and lawyer Job Sikhala who is incarcerated together with Chitungwiza North member of Parliament Godfrey Sithole who are being accused of inciting public violence.
Ali was found dead weeks after her disappearance and was last seen being dragged by Pius Jamba, a known Zanu PF activist in the area. Her badly mangled body was found in a shallow well in Beatrice at the home of Jamba’s mother before the suspect was ultimately arrested in Hurungwe, Mashonaland West province.
Last week, Zanu PF branch chairperson for Nyatsime, Godfrey Murambatsvina, collapsed at his house before he was taken to SouthMed Hospital in Chitungwiza where he died hours later.
Local Zanu PF councillor in the area Masimbi Masimbi of ward 9 in Nyatsime said Murambatsvina was in perfect physical health before he collapsed and consequently died last weekend. Could he be the first victim an avenging spirit in the aftermath of Ali’s murder?
After the discovery of Ali’s body, Murambatsvina was in the forefront, giving ridiculous orders to prohibit opposition members from attending the funeral and the consequent dispersing of the relatives from the homestead where they had gathered. His house was set on fire during the skirmishes between CCC supporters and their Zanu PF counterparts.
“He must have been stressed from the burning of his house, and the stress thereof could have led to his death,” Masimbi said.
On the same weekend, Tina Gweshe, a Zanu PF supporter in the area, succumbed to alleged poisoning after attending a party. Zanu PF insists there was foul play. Police said they are looking into these deaths to ascertain the causes.
“We are conducting investigations with a view to find out what exactly happened and we would like to urge the public to cooperate with the police,” said police spokesperson Paul Nyathi.
Ali’s dismembered body has been in the morgue for a fortnight now, with no burial plan in place. Initially, the brother of the deceased demanded that the suspects in the gruesome killing of his sister be apprehended first before the family can proceed with burial, but their lawyer and family spokesperson Sikhala was arrested and they are now demanding his immediate release before they can proceed with the burial.
Ruling party officials dismissed Ali’s death as a love-affair that went wrong, insisting there was nothing political. Cases of politically-motivated murders have been rife in Zimbabwe, with Zanu PF accused of unleashing a reign of terror on the opposition.
However, there have been cases of vengeance by the victims, including Chokuda.
In 2012, an MDC-T activist in Mudzi, Mashonaland East province, Cephas Magura, was pelted to death and all those who were complicit in his death died mysteriously.
Whether the death of Zanu PF officials in Nyatsime is the outcome of Ali fighting her wars, only time will tell.