THE family of slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Moreblessing Ali, says the arrest of its lawyer Job Sikhala is a State ploy to force them to bury their relative before her killers are arrested.
“We condemn the arrest of our representative and spokesperson, Sikhala and one of the local leaders, who was instrumental in the CCC search mission, Honourable Godfrey Sithole. To be clear, it was our position as a family that we would not bury Moreblessing until her murderers are arrested,” family spokesperson Washington Ali said.
“Sikhala was the appointed watching brief over any potential investigation, arrest and prosecution. It is a matter of regret that Sikhala has been arrested in the course and scope of his legal duties. This is an extension of the political persecution of Moreblessing.”
Sikhala was arrested for inciting violence following an orgy of violence that erupted on Tuesday after CCC and Zanu PF youths went on rampage in Nyatsime fighting to control Ali’s funeral wake.
The Zengeza West legislator had announced that the family would not bury the deceased before the perpetrators of the heinous crime are apprehended.
Zanu PF Seke legislator Munyaradzi Kashambe has also been accused of stoking the violence after he said the ruling party had taken over the funeral proceedings, a move that irked CCC activists.
Kashambe, whose constituency covers Nyatsime area, made the statements when he attended the funeral in the company of other Zanu PF officials, including the area councillor, Masimbi Masimbi on Monday.
Yesterday, Kashambe said he had been receiving death threats since then.
“I am receiving death threats over the phone with some of the people threatening to kill my children. Some are using foreign numbers and sending all sorts of threats. I am going to file a report, but currently I am engaging my (Zanu PF) superiors on the way forward,” Kashambe said.
“In some of the texts, they are asking if I have children and whether I want them to live. Yesterday (Tuesday), some people drove to my farm in Nyabira, but could not make it after their vehicle ran out of fuel along the way.”
On Tuesday, Zanu PF and CCC supporters fought running battles at Ali’s funeral. Both Zanu PF and CCC allege that Ali was their member.
In a related case, Zanu PF shadow councillor for Zengeza West Charamba Mlambo has courted controversy after pictures of him branding a pistol in the wake of the violence over Ali’s death went viral.
Mlambo, who lost the seat to the CCC in the March by-elections, is alleged to have posted the picture at a party meeting held at a Unit G house on Tuesday.
“I took the picture some time ago at my home. People posted it because of what has been happening in Nyatsime,” Mlambo said.
“I posted the photo on my Instagram with a caption ‘never mind of the dogs, but beware of the owner’. It was not this week. I think this picture is being politicised for the violence happening in Nyatsime.”
Ali went missing on May 24 before her mutilated body was recovered from a well in Nyatsime on Saturday. A suspect, Pius Jamba, is currently on the run over her murder.