A cornered rat will eventually strike back – says CCC activist who helped identify battered body of murdered colleague

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CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Tonderai Dombo, who was part of the team that identified slain party member Tapfumaneyi Masaya’s heavily battered body on Monday, has warned that retaliation will soon be an option.

Dombo, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ) graduate, made headlines in 2016 after protesting against late President Robert Mugabe by standing up in the middle of a graduation ceremony while holding a placard bemoaning an acute shortage of jobs in the country.

He was eventually arrested and assaulted by State Security agents.

Speaking to journalists at Masaya’s funeral wake in Mabvuku, Wednesday, Dombo who explained that his opinion did not represent the CCC said he had realised all avenues in Zimbabwe led to death.

He explained that a Zimbabwean was not just at risk of various ailments but marauding Zanu PF youths who have been accused of abducting, assaulting, torturing and killing innocent civilians for their political choices.

“It is despicable, we are really angered in Mabvuku. We have gotten to a point that we have realised it is death or death in Zimbabwe,” said Dombo.

“If you do not die of stress, High Blood Pressure, hunger, a shortage of medication you are most likely to die at the hands of Zanu PF thugs for no apparent reason.”

Masaya was abducted Saturday mid-morning by suspected Zanu PF youths, forcibly disappeared and found dead on Monday.

His body was dropped off at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) while his clothes were kept at Rhodesville Police Station.

Dombo, accompanied by the deceased’s 29-year-old son, then abandoned a search party they had initiated and proceeded to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where Masaya’s body was identified.

Masaya’s arms had deep cuts Dombo believes were either inflicted by machetes or axes while his face was so battered they could not immediately identify him.

A shoe and sock he was wearing were what they recognised.

He added: “It was almost difficult to identify the body, it was already decomposed. The body was naked save for a shoe and a stocking. We identified the clothes too.

“We now have a widow and three orphans. I do not know whether this is cruelty, hatred, disdain; they have to explain us, we will demand answers. We will force the ZRP to give us answers.

“When you continuously corner a rat it will then decide to scratch before it meets its death, this is the point where we are at. I do not speak for the party but as a resident of Mabvuku, as a young person who is also a victim of this incompetent government.”

An independent postmortem is expected on Thursday according to Ward 21 Councillor Alexio Nyakudya while burial details are yet to be shared.

A DNA test is also expected to confirm the body as belonging to Masaya. The DNA test is in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Spokesperson George Charamba who is claimed by the opposition party to have accused them of killing and dumping random bodies before blaming Zanu PF’s government.

An interview with Masaya’s wife Maria Zhuwawo (53) will be broadcast on Destiny TV on Thursday.

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