Political Killings And Abductions of MDC Activists Escalate

The brutal murder of MDC activist Beta Chokururama in Murehwa on Sunday and
the abduction of Tonderai Ndira from Mabvuku on Wednesday highlight the
country's spiralling crisis of political killings and kidnappings.

Chokururama was abducted with three other activists’ 10km after Juru growth

point on his way to Ngwerume village in Murehwa, to say goodbye to his

mother. The group had planned to flee the country the following day and seek

refuge in South Africa.

The four activists were driving in a car when it was sandwiched by two twin

cabs carrying about eight men, believed to be state agents. They were forced

to stop and in a desperate bid, locked themselves in the vehicle.

Wise Mayengeza, an MDC activist who decided at the last minute not to travel

with the group to Murehwa, said the state agents smashed the windscreen and

windows and pulled them out of the car.

‘They were blindfolded and taken to different places. One of them who

managed to escape under the cover of darkness, was taken to a torture camp.

He only managed to get to Harare Tuesday where he explained what had

happened,’ Mayengeza said.

Chokururama’s body was discovered not too far away from where they were

abducted. He had a gunshot and four deep stab wounds to his back. The other

two activists are still missing and believed dead.

‘We understand there are two bodies that fit their descriptions at a

hospital mortuary in Murehwa. We’re making plans to travel there and

investigate if the bodies are that of our friends,’ Mayengeza said.

Shockingly Chokururama was abducted and tortured and left for dead, three

weeks ago. State agents told him then that he was number 17 on their

hit-list of influential activists from Harare and Mashonaland East province.

At the time of his murder he was still trying to recover from this serious


He had also spent four months in prison during the 2007 government crackdown

on the MDC.

On Wednesday heavily armed and masked men abducted the MDC’s security

secretary for Harare province, Tonderai Ndira, from his Mabvuku home.

Ndira, who has been arrested 35 times and badly beaten on countless

occasions, was abducted from his home in Chizhanje, Mabvuku by nine armed

men. The group included a policeman based in Goromonzi identified by an


He was assaulted, then driven away naked in a white Toyota single cab truck,

Registration number 772-224T. Ndira was number 34 on the hit list, according

to Mayengeza. His colleagues and family said they are very concerned about

his safety.

The MDC has said the attacks on it’s activists and supporters are mostly

carried out by known state agents, militias and soldiers, who shoot or stab

the victims before escaping in cars. No one has been arrested or prosecuted

for the over 33 deaths reported so far.

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