Opposition RDZ leader Elton Mangoma on Saturday attended the funeral commemorations for a Gokwe MDC activist, Moses Chokuda who was murdered by alleged Zanu PF activists in 2009 and ‘refused’ to be buried amid mysterious circumstances.
The body of Moses Chokuda remained at Gokwe Hospital mortuary for 3 years and his mother, Mrs Tawengwa Chokuda, noted that his son had shown that political violence did not pay and therefore “fought his own war”.
Chokuda’s mother chronicled events that led to his son’s death at the hands of alleged Zanu PF supporters whose names she claimed were Farai Machaya — whom he said was the son of the Midlands governor Jason Machaya — and Edmore Gana, son of the former Zanu PF district coordinating committee chairperson for Gokwe, Isaac Gana.
Mai Chokuda said police had tried to bury her son by force after the family had refused to participate in the process but they failed to move the coffin out of the mortuary.
She said they were told by mortuary attendants at the hospitals that sometimes they saw his son sitting on top of his metal coffin.
He was three years later buried after the Machaya family agreed to pay the required 15 cattle to ‘appease the spirit’.
She said although it was almost six years since his death, the death had largely affected her life. she said the 15 cattle paid as compensation had not healed the wounds they encountered with the death of their son.
The way he was killed was ruthless. He was beaten to death, tied with ropes and dragged like an animal. It’s over 5 years since he was murdered and up to this day i think if him, the cattle they paid will never replace my son” he said.
Speaking at the venue of the event in Gokwe the RDZ leader said his party would prioritise reparations for former victims of violence saying the time had come for Zimbabweans to confront evil.
“As RDZ we will pay reparations for former victims of political violence and we call upon Zanu PF to desist from the violent behaviour.
“We visited the Chokuda family on this day of the memorial of their son so as to show solidarity and preach the gospel of anti-violence to the people of Gokwe,” said Mangoma.
The event was attended by over 100 villagers from in and around Gokwe centre who when speaking to Radio VOP said the incident had taught them to show tolerance and avoid violence.
“You see, after this incident no one has ever bothered to fight neighbours on political grounds. It showed us that apart from politics we are Africans first,” said the villager who identified himself as Charles Boni.
Another former Zanu PF District secretary for administration in Gokwe Hazel Manyeta said that as they remembered Chokuda the incident had showed that African spirituality existed and life was sacred saying the incident was a good warning for violent Zanu PF activists.
“It is good that we are remembering Chokuda’s life. People learnt that we have traditional values which give us virtues; no power on earth can subdue those cultural values. On top of everything there is God and non should be murdered for have differing political views,” he said.