HARARE – The US and UK embassies in Zimbabwe say they are “alarmed” and “saddened” by the abduction and callous murder of CCC activist Tapfumanei Masaya by suspected state security agents weekend.
Posting on X Tuesday, the US embassy called for a full investigation into the activist’s death.
“The United States is alarmed by the reported abduction and death of an opposition campaign worker in #Zimbabwe. We call for a full investigation by the local authorities, peaceful preparations for the December by-elections and an end to political violence,” said the embassy.
Also posting on X, the UK embassy in Zimbabwe also expressed condolences over the activist’s murder.
“Saddened and concerned by the death of Pastor Tapfumanei Masaya following his abduction, after other alleged incidents in recent weeks. We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the embassy said.
The incident was also condemned by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora who described on-going abductions as crimes against humanity.
“Abductions, torture, forced disappearances, murder and hate of political opponents are crimes against humanity. We cannot allow our country to go back to the grim situations of yesteryear,” Mwonzora said in a post.
According to witnesses, Masaya, who was 51, was seized by men who were driving on Toyota Fortuner vehicles as he joined fellow party activists in Tafara-Mabvuku to conduct door-to-door campaigns ahead of a December 9 by-election set for the area.
His lifeless body was positively identified by family dumped at the intersection of Arcturus Road and Lobho Road, Cleveland area, Harare on 12 November 2023.
In a statement on Monday, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police are “currently conducting comprehensive investigations on the circumstances surrounding Tapfumaneyi Masaya’s death while at the same time waiting for the full post-mortem report”.
Few however would believe the pledge to probe the crime by a police force that has been accused of failure to act on past cases of victimisation against opponents of the ruling Zanu PF party.
At a media briefing in Harare Tuesday, CCC deputy spokesperson Ostallos Gift Siziba cited cases in which police have shown reluctance to act even after formally recording reports from the opposition.
The cases include the recent abduction and brutal attack on party legislator Takudzwa Ngadziore by assailants the youthful lawmaker bravely captured and broadcast live in the act on his mobile phone.
The attacks are a recurrence of the 2022 by-election violence in which CCC activists, among them, sitting MPs were brutalised by suspected state agents flaunting expensive 4×4 vehicles with some bearing Zanu PF colours.
Despite acknowledging the crimes, police are yet to arrest any of the culprits involved.
Siziba said the latest abductions signify “the crisis of impunity that is taking centre stage after the sham elections” August this year.