The case of murdered MDC Midlands North director of elections Maxwell Ncube has taken a new twist following revelations that the police had picked up Ncube’s breastfeeding wife and nephew whom they reportedly suspect of killing him.
Yesterday, MDC provincial chairman Godwin Sibanda told NewsDay Ncube’s wife had since been released, but his nephew remained in police custody as investigations continue.
Ncube’s heavily bruised body was discovered last Tuesday along a dry riverbed, some 300 metres away from Malamlela Business Centre in Zhombe district, Midlands.
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. However, police national spokesperson Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka declined to comment on the MDC allegations, but said investigations were still ongoing.
“Is this not the story where Senior Assistant Commissioner (chief police spokesperson) Wayne Bvudzijena gave a comment on and said investigations were underway?
The comment still stands. An investigation is not a one-day thing. We have to gather information first, so I cannot comment further than that those investigations are still underway,” said Mandipaka.
The development came as the MDC claimed the murder of Ncube, who was found buried in a shallow grave along a dry riverbed last week, was politically motivated and pointed a finger at their opponents.
MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube yesterday said Ncube could have been murdered by suspected Zanu PF activists.
Zanu PF deputy secretary for information and publicity Cain Mathema yesterday declined to comment on the matter, referring all questions to the police.
“Why don’t you talk to the police?” Mathema said.
But, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa denied the allegations, saying: “I do not think that Zanu PF members are capable of doing such a thing.”
MDC deputy national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said Ncube was struck on the head with an axe by Zanu PF activists in 2008 and spent some time in hospital.
He said the party was certain the same people who struck Ncube with the axe in 2008 were the ones behind the murder as they had been making threats on his life.
“We are convinced that it is a politically motivated case and (our) detractors are directly involved considering that, after his assault in 2008, the same perpetrators had still been making threats on Ncube’s life,” he said.
“The assailants who were making threats on Ncube’s life are still roaming freely despite the fact that their names were given to the police.”
Chihwayi said they had information that the assailants were, “up to now still using Ncube’s mobile phone. The arrest of Ncube’s wife and nephew, whom we hear are still in custody, is a cover-up by people who do not want to arrest the real perpetrators.”
Meanwhile, Ncube’s body has been brought to Bulawayo for post-mortem.
“I am told that the post-mortem will either be completed today (yesterday) or tomorrow (today), then the body will be taken back to Zhombe for burial. The date will be determined by what time the body will arrive back in Zhombe,” said Chihwayi.