Zimbabweans Attend Memorial Service of Slvia Maposa Gunned Down in Public Army Killings

Sylvia Maposa funeral cortege

Hundreds of Zimbabweans gathered in Harare’s Waterfalls suburb to remember the late Sylvia Maposa, who was gunned down by the Zimbabwe National Army soon after the July 30 harmonized council, parliamentary and presidential elections.

Relatives and friends described the late government employee as a hard-working and God-fearing Zimbabweans. Her mother-in-law said, “She was full of love, feared God, worked hard for her family and was a very pleasant woman.”

Her relatives declined to discuss anything related to her death and memorial service.

Maposa, who worked for the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, was shot dead on August 1st this year during a protest by some political activists in Harare that were unhappy over delays by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release presidential election results.

Five other innocent civilians were killed in the shootings later described by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as “regrettable”. The Zimbabwean president has since set up a commission of inquiry into the killings.

Mnangagwa has promised to make the findings public though some people say he may not do so if he is cited in the killings. The Zimbabwean president, who was once state security minister in the1980s, has been accused of being part of the Gukurahundi massacres that led to the death of an estimated 20,000 between 1983 and 1987.

A North Korean-trained crack unit, the Fifth Brigade, was deployed in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions to stop what former president Robert Mugabe described as a dissident menace, which he tied to PF Zapu then led by the late Joshua Nkomo. The late Nkomo dismissed the allegations as wishful thinking saying he had nothing to do with “the so-called dissidents”.

Mugabe said the killings were “an act of madness” but did not apologize for the atrocities until he was removed from power by the military aided by parliament and peaceful public protests.

President Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the presidential election by the Constitutional Court after his rival, Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, filed a court application disputing the poll results. The Constitutional Court dismissed the case saying it lacked concrete evidence of alleged massive rigging by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in favor of the ruling Zanu PF party. – VOA