Zimbabwe Opposition Councilor Murdered

Harare-A Councilor with Zimbabwe’s main opposition political party MDC Alliance was murdered and later dumped near his home in Hurungwe, west of the capital Harare on Thursday night, the party said.

The MDC Alliance said the body of Lovender Chiwaya, its ward 4 councillor in Hurungwe, was discovered early Friday. He was naked and dumped on the roadside, about four houses away from his home in the small town in Mashonaland West province.

Gladys Hlatswayo, the party’s international relations secretary, said Chiwaya “was being hunted by state security agents before his gruesome murder.”

MDC Alliance treasurer David Coltart tweeted: “This is the harsh reality of Zimbabwe”

The killing will heighten political tensions in the country after security forces last month launched a brutal crackdown on opposition political activists and civic society leaders who have criticized President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

Human Rights pressure groups have claimed that dozens of people including opposition leaders, journalists and union leaders were arrested and some abducted and tortured after Mnangagwa deployed the army and police to thwart planned anti-government protests on July 31, with some in hiding since July.

President Mnangagwa’s Government denies rights abuses and accuses the opposition of working with hostile Western countries in a bid to force him out of power.

Recently South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sent two special envoys to engage Mnangagwa over claims of crisis in the country. The opposition MDC Alliance claimed that Mnangagwa had blocked the envoys from meeting  them.

Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was still gathering information about Chiwaya’s death.

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