More blessing Ali’s family says in hiding; claim they are being trailed by State agents

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By Staff Reporter

LIFE has effectively come to a difficult standstill for the family of slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali as they cannot go to work and while some have been forced into hiding with suspected State agents hunting them down while their lawyer remains incarcerated.

Family spokesperson Washington Ali, who is based in the United Kingdom, is the only one living freely and able to speak out as his family back at home, including his murdered sister’s children, have gone into hiding.

He has been left with the responsibility of taking care of the entire family since those at home cannot go to work while Moreblessing’s children have stopped going to school.

“If you were to go home today, you would not meet anyone. The family has moved because they fear for their lives,” said Washington in an interview from his UK base.

“The situation is very hard for me because I am very far away. The only person who could help is our family lawyer, Job Sikhala, but now he is locked up.

“That’s why we call on the authorities to release him so that, at least, there could be progress on our side.”

Sikhala was arrested and denied bail over charges of inciting the violence which rocked Moreblessing’s memorial services.

According to Washington, unmarked vehicles have also been trailing her children.

He also said the family continue to get endless calls from suspected State officials pressing them to bury Moreblessing.

“That will never happen,” he vowed. “So, we had to move them (family members). We had to find alternative communication channels for them.”

Washington said Ali’s body was moved from Chitungwiza Hospital to Parirenyatwa without their consent.

In addition, several efforts by the family to view the body again have not been successful.

“We said we just want to see our sister’s body but they said no,” he said.

“In as much as we can talk about burial, the first important issue to note is that the family is not safe. It is not even safe for family members back home to pursue the matter.

“There is absolutely no reason why they are holding Job (Sikhala); it’s just cruelty. Is it fair that murderers are roaming free when an innocent person is locked in.

“Those who triggered violence are walking scot-free,” he said.

Moreblessing Ali’s family lawyer Job Sikhala

Washington said they are yet to see the official post-mortem report, adding that the family wants an examination to be carried out by a private pathologist.

“As a family, we want an independent examiner but we are stuck.

“We can’t do anything without Job (Sikhala). If he was not there we wouldn’t be where we are. Maybe we would not have managed to find the body of our child.

“We cannot talk about burial now. Rushing to bury Moreblessing would be disrespectful, especially to those who stood with us during the tough times.

“Maybe the worst is yet to come. We need closure as a family. The children need to be at peace. This can only happen if justice is served.”

Washington said the funeral for Moreblessing is literally being held in the UK when it is supposed to be at her own home.

To make matters worse, he also works miles away yet he has to be with mourners at his house at the same time.

Washington blamed Zanu PF for the death of his sister.

He said the day Ali’s body was found, the family had printed flyers offering a US$5,000 reward to anyone who could help locate the now-deceased.

“We are certain they noticed that the offer we had made would expose them. They knew people would come forth and help us and they said no, ‘let’s just come out munhu aonekwe’.”

Pius Jamba (centre) has since been arrested over Moreblessing’s murder

He explained how Sikhala worked hard every day trying to help them find Ali.

“For a good 18 days, he did not rest. He did not take a break,” he said. “That man never rested.”

“This saga was managed by Zanu PF. They can’t accuse Job now. It is heart-breaking to think about the irony.

“Besides Job, those who had their homes destroyed by Zanu PF thugs also got arrested when they went to report about vandalism.”

Washington said their main worry is to wake and be told that they “cannot have the body” or that “something has happened to it”.

“We want the body. We hope it doesn’t come to that, ” he said.

Commenting about the mysterious deaths of Zanu PF members in the Nyatsime area, which has been attributed to Ali’s murder by the members of the public, Washington said, “that’s beyond words for me”.

“I’m not superstitious. We are church going people, as a family. What’s happening is beyond words for me.

“However that’s not for us to discuss or talk about. Our only worry is about our dead sister and our family,” he said.

Ali was found dead 18 days after she went missing.

She was last seen alive at a shopping centre in Nyatsime where she had an altercation with Zanu PF activist Pius Jamba who has since been arrested over the murder.

Ali’s dismembered and decomposing body was found in a disused well at his mother’s homestead at Dunottar Farm in Beatrice.

The ruling Zanu PF party have denied responsibility for the murder

President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed it was stage-managed by the opposition to tarnish the country’s image ahead of the recent Commonwealth summit which was held in Rwanda.