ALMOST seven months after her gruesome murder by a Zanu PF-linked activist, Moreblessing Ali’s body still lies in a mortuary unburied — all because of politics. Her family is not even sure where her body is.
Meanwhile, her family lawyer Job Sikhala has spent the last six months in pre-trial detention and will spent the Christmas holiday at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. His crime, in the court of public opinion, is that he demanded justice for Ali, a CCC activist who was murdered by Zanu PF activist, Pias Jamba.
Ali’s family has not known peace since her murder. Her son Silence, is now living in hiding after being harassed by suspected state security agents. He first went to stay at a farm in Dema owned by his uncle, but was followed there.
Silence left the farm in September, and is holed up at a secret location, after days of being trailed by unmarked vehicles which parked outside the family residence in Chitungwiza.
“I left the farm in the middle of the night in September 2022. My uncle and family members just decided to get me out after numerous visits from suspected Zanu PF youths and state security agents. At one point while I was at the farm, a drone flew past and stayed above me, very close by, filming for 20 minutes or so and, as it flew away, it went in the direction of the police station,” said Silence.
His wife left the farm days after him.
“I used my relative’s car to disguise as a taxi to carry my wife out of there. She left with nothing,” he said.
Ali went into hiding three months after the dismembered body parts of his mother were discovered in a well in Beatrice, at a farm owned by Jamba’s mother.
The family last saw the body at Chitungwiza General Hospital but was informed it was taken to the Parirenyatwa Hospital mortuary.
“We will bury our mother in due course, but we are not sure if her body is still at Parirenyatwa because we didn’t see the body beyond that stage of identification at Chitungwiza General Hospital and there has been no communication from the hospital,” said Ali.
Plans to bury the deceased Ali hinge on the release of their lawyer from prison.
“My mother had a policy with Nyaradzo, and we were in talks with them while I was able to travel. They were asking me about the burial plans, but I have since lost communication since I went into hiding,” he said.
There are still no plans to bury the deceased Ali, as the family are awaiting the release of their lawyer, Job Sikhala, who has been languishing in prison for six months on charges of allegedly inciting violence.
Sikhala addressed party supporters who had converged to mourn the deceased Ali. Violence ensued and he was charged with incitement. Silence says the family cannot proceed in Sikhala’s absence. “Job Sikhala is in jail, we cannot change our lawyer whilst Job Sikhala was our lawyer even when my mother was still alive. She got injured while at work (Chitungwiza Municipality) and Sikhala represented her. So we can’t just get up and bury her, he was standing with us, we cannot bury my mother, it doesn’t make sense. We need Job Sikhala to come out so that he can get to the bottom of the case.”
Sikhala was the family’s lawyer, speaking on behalf of the family during the hunt for Ali’s body. Silence adds that there are irregularities surrounding the death of his mother and only Sikhala can help them get to the bottom of the matter.
“After identifying the body of my mother with Sikhala, I was informed that tests would be done. So Sikhala was in the process of getting to the bottom of this when the arrests and the intimidation started happening,” he said.
“We cannot bury her because not all her body parts are present. Then there is a string that was used to tie her, nothing makes sense. He (Pius Jamba) says he hit her with a fist but her tongue was out. It’s not possible for the tongue to come out after death. I have all the pictures. So we are waiting for Job Sikhala to come out and get to the bottom of this,” he said.
He is convinced Sikhala’s only crime is trying to solve all these questions on behalf of the family and not inciting violence.
“You know the Zanu PF MP (Munyaradzi Kashambe) and Councillor (Masimbi Masimbi) came with rowdy youths and told me that if my mother was mourned by CCC supporters there would be no peace. They incited violence, but Sikhala is in jail, while they walk scot free,” he added.
Sikhala applied for bail for the 11th time since June and High Court judge Samuel Deme said he is reserving judgement until he has gone through all previous bail rulings that denied the accused bail.