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Zimbabwe Police Boss Says CCC Activist Tafadzwa Chitsunge Run Over by Truck, Not Stoned to Death

FILE: Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga (left)
FILE: Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga (left)

Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga, says opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Tinashe Chitsunge, died recently after he was run over by a truck and not stoned to death by suspected Zanu PF supporters in Glen View.

Matanga told election observers and journalists in Harare yesterday that police arrested several people in connection with Chitsunge’s death.

He said, “On 3 August, 2023, we received a case of public violence in Glen View here in Harare in which a life was unfortunately lost. The deceased Tinashe Edson Chitsunge aged 44 of House Number 7628 Chits Fifth Way, Glen View 7 here in Harare was run over by a truck in the course of politically-motivated skirmishes. It is important to note that we have since arrested a total of 15 suspects in connection with this case and all of them are being charged for public violence as defined in Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23. They have since appeared before the magistrates’ courts and were remanded out of custody on US$100 bail each … The suspects will be back in court on 11th of September, 2023.”

Matanga said the period leading to the elections has been generally peaceful and conductive for a free, fair and credible election.

He said there have been few isolated incidents of both intra and inter-party politically-motivated violence, though he linked one of the high-profile Mwenezi case to a robbery incident.

Matanga said, “On 19 July, 2023, we received a report of an armed robbery and malicious damage to property which had political inclinations. The circumstances were that one Cosmas Mambume a driver to the independent candidate for Mwenezi West constituency, that is Masvingo province, Tafadzwa Shumba, was robbed of a Toyota GD6 double cab at gunpoint at Majoni 2 Village Chief Mazetese, Mwenezi, by four unidentified accused persons who were aboard a white twicab vehicle. The vehicle was burnt beyond recognition about seven kilometers from the scene. Investigations are underway.”

CCC is fuming over Matanga’s claim that Chitsunge was run over by a truck, saying it is surprising that he is making such remarks when police are still conducting investigations on the incident.

In a Facebook post, CCC said, “This comment from the Police Commissioner General, who is supposed to be the moral compass, is both disheartening and regrettable. It is a widely known fact that our member, Tafadzwa Chitsunge, was brutally attacked and killed by individuals associated with the Zanu PF party. The Commissioner's lack of honesty is evident, as his officers have already arrested and issued fake charges against over 10 individuals directly involved in this atrocious crime. Were these individuals driving the same truck that Mr Matanga alleged tragically ran over our member? We demand an ethical and accountable police force, one that does not engage in propagating the agenda of any political party. Our government will have a police service that serves and protects everyone.”

Zimbabwe will conduct council, parliamentary and presidential elections next week in which CCC interim leader, Nelson Chamisa, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa are the two front-runners. There are 11 presidential candidates.

Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner, General Godwin Matanga told observers, Citizens Coalition for Change Tinashe Chitsunge, who was murdered in political violence early this month was run over by killed in political violence in Glen View early this month was run over by angering CCC activists who witness his killing.

VOA correspondent Godwin Mangudya contributed to this article