BY OBEY MANAYITI
Family members of the late MDC activist, Blessing Toronga who was killed by suspected Zanu PF militias during the January clampdown on protests against fuel price hikes, said they were being “terrorised” by ruling party activists.
Toronga was a known MDC activist in Glen Norah and his decomposing body was only recovered over a month after his abduction on January 24.
The deceased’s sister Norah, is treasurer for Zanu PF Sally Mugabe district in the same area. Norah told NewsDay that she had been forced by circumstances to shelve her support for the ruling party, to demand justice over her brother’s murder.
She said it all started when some jealous Zanu PF activists thought she had bought a lot of groceries for her family after retirement as a government youth officer and claimed she had looted some goods during the January riots.
A group of police officers, soldiers and Zanu PF activists then ransacked her home, but found nothing, and then turned their anger on her now-deceased brother whom they accused of stealing from the shops although they did not have the evidence.
“I was a youth officer and retired on December 31 (2018). However, I didn’t get my pension on time, but there are people who thought I bought a lot of groceries using my pension,” she explained.
“During the riots, they found an excuse to pounce on me and came to search at my house on January 17, but found nothing. They went everywhere, including at my brother’s place (Blessing), but found nothing.
“To revenge (for the embarrassing wild goose chase) , they accused my brother of participating in the demonstration. They finally abducted him on January 24 from a car park run by his brother. From there, we didn’t hear anything from him, but some known Zanu PF people were bragging that they are using Blessing as an example.”
Toronga’s body was found in a state of decomposition in a forest near an area towards Beatrice and was taken to Chitungwiza Hospital. But the family only knew about it on March 10 when he was about to be given a pauper’s burial.
DNA tests were carried out and the family is still waiting for the results.
Norah said her family was being tormented daily by local Zanu PF activists who continuously threaten them.
“They are threatening that if I leave Zanu PF they will come after me, but my conscience doesn’t allow me. If they can do this to a Zanu PF member what more an ordinary citizen? For now, I’m done,” she said. Toronga’s wife Patricia Maruve said she was still in a state of shock and wants the truth to come out. She said her husband was abducted in full view of many people and assaulted at a car park where gunshots were fired to scare away anyone who might have wanted to save him.
Close to 20 people died in extrajudicial killings following riots over the high cost of fuel in January, which were widely condemned.
Zanu PF Harare youth chairman Godwin Gomwe said the ruling party does not encourage its members to commit crimes.
Gomwe said if there was evidence that some known people were involved in criminal acts, they must be reported to the police.
“I don’t think this issue needs my comment. I don’t think something done by an individual in their personal capacity in their locations can be blamed on Zanu PF,” he said.