UN Human Rights Office urges Zimbabwean authorities to investigate abduction and killing of CCC’s Masaya 

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By Anna Chibamu

THE United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office has called on the government to urgently investigate the alleged abduction and murder of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Tapfumaneyi Masaya.

Police are yet to apprehend the murderers and have indicated that investigations are underway.

Masaya was buried at Tafara cemetery on Saturday in Harare.

In a statement on Friday, the UN Human Rights spokesperson Liz Throssell condemned his killing and rising cases of political violence in the country.

“We deplore the killing in Zimbabwe of political activist Tapfumaneyi Masaya whose body was found earlier this week. This concerning development comes amid reports in recent months of several opposition activists being kidnapped and tortured in Zimbabwe, where general elections were held in August and where parliamentary by-elections are due to take place on 9 December 2023,” Throssell said.

Masaya was kidnapped on November 11, along with fellow activist Jeffrey Kalosi, while they were campaigning for CCC’s Mabvuku-Tafara candidate, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi. 

Both were reportedly tortured and Kalosi was found dumped hours later. Masaya’s body was found on 13 November at the intersection of Arcturus and Lobho Roads in the Cleveland area after an extensive search by opposition members and family.

“We note that the authorities have said Masaya’s killing is being investigated.

“We urge them to ensure there are thorough, prompt, and independent investigations not only into his death but also into all allegations of people being tortured and kidnapped, including to establish whether they were forcibly disappeared.

“Perpetrators should be held accountable in fair trials that follow due process,” added Throssell.

The December by-election follows recalls by Sengezo Tshabangu, claiming to be the CCC’s interim secretary general.

A High Court interdict last week stopped Tshabangu from making any further recalls but came after 13 more MPs and 5 senators had been axed.

The opposition has denied any association with Tshabangu calling him an impostor working for the ruling party Zanu PF.

Zanu PF, however, dismissed the allegations telling CCC to put its “structureless” house in order.