Abducted MDC candidate Jani found dead

By Tererai Karimakwenda
May 26, 2008

The body of the abducted MDC Senatorial candidate for Murehwa has been found on a farm in Goromonzi. Shepherd Jani was abducted last Thursday by 4 men who forced him into a vehicle. Residents in Murehwa had tried to rescue him by picking up rocks and threatening the perpetrators, but the gang pulled out guns and fired warning shots. Throughout the ordeal Jani was screaming; “Ndibatsireiwo”.

MDC activists in Murehwa believe the same twin cab car was used in the abduction of Langton Mafuse, the MDC candidate for ward 10 Murehwa North, who was taken from his home last week and has still not been located.

On Saturday the farmer in Goromonzi who found the body had traced vehicle tire tracks on his property, believing they were from livestock thieves. But he discovered Jani’s body instead. Our Murehwa contact Kumbirai, reports that Jani was also the provincial treasurer for the MDC and lived at a complex called Kudakwashe Stores. Kumbirai said Jani’s family and friends, as well party members who want to mourn his death, are being blocked from going to the complex. Many of our contacts in Murehwa have fled the area and it’s become increasingly difficult to get information.

Jani’s abduction came 2 days after a ZANU-PF meeting that was held in Murehwa town. The ZANU-PF Murehwa district vice chairperson named Mashava, addressed the crowd at that meeting. He is reported to have made threats about killing the children of MDC officials. He said the children of snakes are also snakes (Vana ve nyoka inyoka wo futi). The meeting was also addressed by a ZANU-PF war veteran named ‘Katsvairo’ who is reported to have said the MDC should never have formed a political party, without forming an army. Katsvairo also said that the MDC would never rule Zimbabwe.

A list of names to be targeted that week was read out at the meeting. It included the names of most MDC officials in the area, who have since fled. Kumbirai said an army official named Colonel Chineta is suspected of being involved in Jani’s murder. Chineta was seen having a serious argument with Jani shortly before the MDC candidate was abducted.

Kumbirai said ZANU-PF has set up a base at Makunde Complex in Murehwa from which they are coordinating their terror campaign. The place is owned by the father of Tendai Bright Makunde, the ZANU-PF candidate who won against Jani in the senatorial race for Murehwa district. Kumbirai explained that the MDC campaign teams in Murehwa are being targeted because they are very effective at organising and had produced very good results for the MDC in the province.


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