A senior MDC official, Maxwell Ncube, was allegedly abducted from his home last Friday and murdered by as-yet-unidentified assailants in Zhombe district, Midlands Province.
The murder is reminiscent of the cold-blooded killing of war veterans’ leader Cain Nkala in 2001 who was abducted from his home in Magwegwe, Bulawayo, and his body later found in a shallow grave at Norwood Farm near Solusi University.
Ncube was MDC director of elections for Midlands North.
National police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the murder, adding: “We are investigating. I don’t have the details and circumstances at the moment.”
Party activists yesterday said Ncube’s heavily bruised body was discovered on Tuesday morning along a dry riverbed, some 300 metres away from Malamlela Business Centre.
They said the body, which was stuffed in a sack, had a deep axe-like wound on the head.
Police in Zhombe retrieved the body on Tuesday.
MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said Ncube had clashed with some youth activists at the business centre in front of scores of villagers just before he was abducted.
He said the activists had threatened him with death, adding, his party believed they had made good their threat.
“He was last seen alive between 6pm and 7pm at the business centre, only for his body to be discovered yesterday morning (Tuesday). We strongly believe he was murdered by activists from (political party’s name supplied) who were at the business centre earlier in the day,” Chihwayi claimed.
“They (suspects) had also previously threatened him (Ncube) on numerous occasions and in 2008, he was one of the people who were heavily assaulted. We have supplied the police with the names of the suspects and we are waiting for them to conclude their investigations,” Chihwayi said.
He said they had given the police the names of four people they believe were behind the
Ncube’s body was discovered after a search by MDC supporters when his wife alerted them of the abduction.
The assailants allegedly took away Ncube’s cellphone, which they reportedly used to send a text message to his family, claiming he had gone to Chinhoyi and would be back after two months.
Some MDC officials, who declined to be named, yesterday told NewsDay that in 2008, Ncube sustained serious injuries after he was assaulted in the same area.
Chihwayi said his party had since dispatched its secretary for security Jairos Karimatsenga, Midlands North chairperson Godwin Sibanda and Jomic liaison officer Michael Mukashi to Zhombe to investigate the alleged murder.
The party’s youth assembly yesterday condemned the murder and said it was evident political intolerance was still rife among players in Zimbabwe’s treacherous political waters.
“We strongly abhor the pretence of commitment to peace as espoused by leaders on Heroes’ Day when in actual fact they knew well that their zealous mafia was at work overnight doing the heinous act of abduction and murder,” said Gideon Mandaza, the MDC youth chairperson.
“. . . The methodology of the whole occurrence of this gross disrespect for human life and dignity is reminiscent of the formulas of the Gukurahundi – as done in areas like Balagwe.”