Clashes and low turnout at funeral of slain Zimbabwean activist Moreblessing Ali

Clashes and low turnout at funeral of slain Zimbabwean activist Moreblessing Ali

AZIMBABWEAN opposition activist slain nearly two years ago was finally buried on Saturday at an event marked by a low turnout and clashes between members of the main opposition party, highlighting its decline

Moreblessing Ali, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), was abducted in May 2022 outside a bar in Nyatsime, a neighbourhood of Chitungwiza town on the outskirts of the capital, Harare.

Her body, cut into pieces, was found in a well in the area more than two weeks later, sparking anger. A man was later jailed for 30 years for the murder.

Ms Ali’s remains had remained in a government morgue ever since. Her family refused to bury her until the release of a top official and family lawyer who was arrested after he said that she had been murdered by ruling Zanu-PF supporters.

The official, Job Sikhala, spent close to two years in pre-trial detention and was released in January this year after a magistrate handed him a suspended prison sentence, paving the way for Ms Ali’s burial on Saturday.

Wellington Ali, a brother to the slain activist, said: “We are heartbroken because it is not a joke going two years without burying our relative. We have been through a lot.”

Only a few dozen people said farewell to Ms Ali at the cemetery.

This is in stark contrast to the multitudes of CCC supporters and top officials who gathered to grieve Ms Ali when her body parts were discovered in June 2022.

In August last year, the party’s candidate and then leader Nelson Chamisa narrowly lost the presidential elections but the party has struggled to remain united since the elections.

The CCC has since split into many tiny factions after Mr Chamisa quit the party in January, claiming that President Emmerson Mnangawa’s administration had hijacked the opposition and was engineering its decimation.

President Mnangagwa denies allegations of any involvement in the collapse of the CCC.

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