BY MOSES MATENGA
THE opposition MDC Alliance yesterday expressed concern over the safety of its members after one of its Hurungwe councillors was found dead with his body dumped close to his home, a few weeks after he went into hiding as State security agents clamped down on party activists.
Party deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo confirmed the death of Hurungwe district ward 4 councillor Lovender Chiwaya, who was also MDC Alliance district chairman.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not immediately comment on the matter.
Hlatywayo said the party was awaiting police investigations and post-mortem results.
“He was found dead near his home and doctors are having a post-mortem to ascertain the actual cause of death,” Hlatywayo said.
“It is a suspected murder case but we don’t know what happened because he was just found dead. He was very active and was our chairperson in the area. He was dumbed about four houses away from his place and we now await police investigations and the post-mortem.”
Chiwaya, the MDC Alliance said, was also one of the many party activists who went into hiding ahead of the July 31 protests which were foiled by police.
Government has come under fire from the international community, churches and diplomats over arbitrary arrests and torture of citizens perceived as anti-establishment.
ZimRights yesterday said Chiwaya’s death was suspicious as it came at a time State security agents were reportedly tracking down activists.
“Chiwaya represents what ZimRights identified as the many invisible victims of on-going crackdown on activists whose lives are in danger for exercising their rights,” ZimRights said in a statement.
“This incident comes in the face of the State denying that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe. It follows a series of hate speeches by senior political leaders in the country.
“ZimRights has since filed complaints against hate speech with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.”
The British embassy in Harare also called for a probe into Chiwaya’s death.
“Distressing news about the death of MDC Alliance councillor Lovender Chiwaya. (There) must be a credible investigation by authorities into the circumstances of his death and full application of the law. Our thoughts are with his family,” the British embassy said.