Another MDC activist dead in Buhera
By Violet Gonda
18 July 2008
38 year old Reuben Muteke who was abducted and severely tortured soon after the controversial one-man election run off, has died from his injuries. A relative of the deceased, Thomas Mapfumo (not the musician), said Muteke was abducted from his home four days after the run-off in Buhera’s Chief Nyashanu area and brutally tortured at Bedza torture base, by armed ZANU PF militias.
Mapfumo said his uncle was bludgeoned with axes and iron bars by the militia, led by a councillor called Patrick Chimbare. Many villagers were assaulted in the area during the run-off election.
It’s reported the longtime branch chairperson for the MDC sustained deep cuts, internal injuries, broken legs and ribs. He was left for dead after the assault and was taken to Murambinda Hospital, where he died on Saturday.
He is expected to be buried in Buhera on Saturday.
Pishai Muchauraya, the spokesperson for the MDC in Manicaland, confirmed the death but we could not get a comment from the police in Mutare.
The MDC say the official figure of activists who died as a result of political violence is over 115, but in reality could be more than 500. The party’s organizing secretary, Elias Mudzuri, said recently; ‘They simply abducted people, tortured them, killed them and disposed of the bodies either in shallow graves or just left them in the bush. The government knows better the number of people it has killed, but it’s unfortunate they might not disclose the figures.”
Pre-dialogue talks are underway between the main political parties but violence and arrests of opponents are still continuing. The police raided the offices of the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) and the Catholic Development Commission in Gweru on Friday.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reported that the ZIMCET director and NANGO Midlands province representative Peter Muchengeti was also arrested during the raid on the ZIMCET offices. The Coalition said documentation relating to victims and perpetrators of political violence was confiscated at both offices.
Meanwhile, the situation in Gokwe is still tense. It’s reported state security agents were still manning Gokwe General hospital and denying medical treatment to injured MDC activists.