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Funeral of Zimbabwe opposition activist takes place two years after her murder

Funeral of Moreblessing Ali   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


Two years after she was brutally murdered, Zimbabwean opposition activist Moreblessing Ali was finally laid to rest in the town of Chitungwiza on the outskirts of Harare on Saturday.

Ali, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was abducted in 2022 outside a bar in Nyatsime, a neighbourhood of Chitungwiza.

Her body, which had been cut into pieces, was found two weeks later hidden in a well. Ali’s family had refused to bury her mutilated remains until Joe Sikhala, a top official and the family lawyer, was released.

He was arrested after saying she had been murdered by supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party and spent almost two year in pre-trial detention before being released in January after a magistrate handed him a suspended prison sentence.

Sikhala, who resigned from the CCC following his release from prison, said Ali death would not be in vain.

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

Wellington Ali, a brother to the slain activist, said the family was relieved that she has finally been buried, adding that they had “been through a lot”.

Her sister, Mildred Ali, said the family was angry at the length of the jail sentence given to Pius Jamba, who was convicted of her murder.

"My sister was not murdered by one person. Of course one of her murderers, Pius Jamba, is locked up. But some of his accomplices are still roaming around freely after they killed our relative, cutting her life short,” she said.

Ali’s funeral was marred by clashes between different factions of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party of which she was a member, which has struggled to remain united since last year’s elections.

While the CCC took control of all major cities and towns in last year’s elections, it has since split into many tiny factions after its leader, Nelson Chamisa, quit the party in January.

There are growing concerns about the state of democracy in Zimbabwe after ZANU-PF regained its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, and is effectively governing without significant opposition.

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