Poor turnout at CCC activist’s funeral mirrors decline of opposition


A Zimbabwean opposition activist slain nearly two years ago was finally buried yesterday at an event marked by a low turnout and clashes between members of the main opposition party, highlighting its decline.

Moreblessing Ali, 46, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change, or CCC, was abducted in May 2022 outside a bar in Nyatsime, a neighbourhood of Chitungwiza town on the outskirts of the capital, Harare.

Her body, cut into pieces, was found in a well in the area more than two weeks later, sparking anger. A man was later jailed for 30 years for the murder.

Ali’s remains had remained in a government morgue ever since. Her family refused to bury her until the release of a top official and family lawyer who was arrested after he said she had been murdered by ruling Zanu-PF supporters.

The official, Job Sikhala, spent close to two years in pre-trial detention and was released in January this year after a magistrate handed him a suspended prison sentence, paving the way for Ali’s burial on yesterday.

“We are relieved that she has finally rested,” said Wellington Ali, a brother to the slain activist. “But we are heartbroken because it is not a joke going two years without burying our relative. We have been through a lot.”

He said the family decided to skip the process of viewing the body, because “her body was getting really bad and decomposing.”

Sikhala, who quit the CCC upon his release from prison, said Ali “would not die in vain.”

“Her death will play a role in Zimbabwe’s political trajectory. She is going to inspire us to remain strong,” he said in a graveside interview at a cemetery near Chitungwiza.

Only a few dozen people, some singing political songs but not wearing party regalia, said farewell to Ali at the cemetery. Earlier in the day at her home, police officers with batons easily outnumbered mourners.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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