Zimbabwe’s opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has confirmed that abducted activist, Tapfumaneyi Masaya has been found dead.
Masaya was kidnapped on Saturday after being bundled into a vehicle by unknown men while campaigning just outside Harare, in what was the second high-profile abduction in weeks of an opposition party member. Two weeks ago, armed men kidnapped, tortured, and dumped CCC lawmaker Takudzwa Ngadziore approximately 50 km north of Harare.
Political activists have been killed and disappeared from Zimbabwe for a very long time; this history dates back to the 1980s, and the ruling ZANU-PF party has frequently been accused by the opposition of torturing its activists and causing their deaths.
The party’s spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi told journalists on Tuesday that Masaya was tortured and dumped on the outskirts of Harare. His body was later moved to a mortuary at Parirenyatwa Hospital, about 5 kilometres from central Harare, where it was identified by CCC members who had been searching for him.
“We urge the police to do their work and ensure that all these abductors are promptly and effectively brought to justice,” said Mkwananzi.
Meanwhile, the police said an investigation had been launched after a body was discovered in the vicinity where the CCC said Masaya was found, but that the victim’s identity was yet to be established.
In a recent dispute with the ruling party, opposition parties had faulted the election that gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa a second term in August. Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the CCC, called the voting exercise a “gigantic fraud,” but the ruling ZANU-PF party refuted the accusations.
ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others
Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.
This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.
Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.
The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.
Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.
Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.
Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.
Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.
Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement
The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.
This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.
The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.
However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.
In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.
It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.
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