UN Demands Independent Probe into Death of Zimbabwean Activist

November 24, 2023
Tapfumanei Masaya | Report Focus News

The United Nations has made an urgent call for an independent investigation into the death of Tapfumanei Masaya, an opposition activist in Zimbabwe. Masaya, a pastor and member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), was found dead 30 kilometers from Harare following his abduction and alleged torture.

UN rights office spokeswoman Liz Throssell voiced deep concern, stating, “The shocking death of Tapfumanei Masaya, reportedly after being kidnapped and tortured, requires an immediate and impartial investigation. It’s imperative that the perpetrators are brought to justice, upholding the rule of law and human rights.”

Masaya’s death follows a pattern of abductions, arrests, and violence against CCC supporters in the wake of disputed general elections last August. The situation has been marked by significant political turbulence, with CCC leader Nelson Chamisa losing the presidential race to Emmerson Mnangagwa amid claims of electoral irregularities by international observers.

Throssell warned of the wider implications of such acts, saying, “These violations of the right to life have a chilling effect on freedoms of opinion, expression, and association. It is crucial for the health of Zimbabwe’s democracy that these rights be protected and respected.”

With crucial by-elections scheduled for December 9, there are heightened concerns over potential constitutional amendments by ZANU-PF, which could extend Mnangagwa’s term beyond the current limits. The UN’s call for an investigation is not just about seeking justice for Masaya but is also a plea for the healing and strengthening of democratic processes in Zimbabwe.