Harare — I recently interviewed an MDC activist, a victim of political violence.
He was at a private hospital in Harare with two broken legs and facial injuries.
But I was shocked this week when I was informed that the subject of my interview had been found dead in Murehwa.
This is the story which I wrote after the interview although it had not yet been published. Before we could start the interview, he demanded that I should prove that I was not from the "anti people media".
I was saddened. This is the story which I wrote after the interview.
BETA Chokururama (32), is the official driver of Theresa Makone. She is a senior MDC official and MP-elect for Harare North.
He was recovering in a private hospital, one of the few still functioning in the country.
After reports that Zanu PF hitmen wanted to assassinate winning MDC candidates to force fresh polls in the constituencies, most of the leadership went into hiding.
It meant Chokururama had a lot of free time because his employers had gone underground.
"On Saturday 19 April, a day after commemorating our independence, I went with a friend, Ishmael Kawazi, another MDC member, to an entertainment centre in Marlborough, The Globe Trotters," he told me. "At around 6PM, Kawazi and I took to the crowded dance floor. We were surprised when several men in plain clothes pointed pistols at us and ordered us out.
"At that point they appeared like police officers, genuinely on assignment, because I could tell fellow revellers assumed we were common criminals on the WANTED list.
"We were led outside and I was bundled into one car, my friend into another. By then more men in plain clothes had joined us and I realised some were brandishing AK 47 rifles. They were reeking of alcohol and my hopes sank."
The truck drove off into the darkness.
"Before I had time to recover, my skull was nearly cracked open when a hard object came crashing on my head. I felt dizzy and weak. I managed to ask them why they were beating me."
After the blow came clenched fists and other unidentifiable objects.
"The beatings stopped suddenly, and then they all started speaking at once. They asked if I was Theresa Makone's driver. I said I was. The beatings continued.
As the truck drove on, they demanded to know where his employers had hidden the arms which would be used to fight the government.
"I told them I was not aware of such weapons. They said they were going to kill me if I did not tell them where the guns were.
"I told them they could kill me because I was not aware of any arms. This enraged them because the beatings intensified. They started bashing my knees and my legs with what I thought was an iron bar. I felt one of my legs crack.
"I was convinced they were going to kill me. I told them I knew they belonged to the CIO, because I knew some of them. Because I thought they were going to kill me, I was not afraid to tell them beating people would not change anything because the opposition had for the first time defeated Zanu PF.
"They laughed, and then threw me out of the moving vehicle. I landed on the side of the road and the pain was excruciating. I noticed that my friend had also been thrown out of the other car. Lucky for us, we were dumped near a hospital which we later discovered was in the farming community of Mutorashanga, north of Harare. Some Good Samaritans took us to the hospital."
The MDC youth deputy organising secretary, Simangaliso Chikadaya said after his discharge from hospital, Chokururama went to his rural home in Murehwa last Sunday.
Chikadaya said: "Chokururama and three friends had gone to visit friends and relatives and when they had just left Murehwa Centre, they were sandwiched by two double cab trucks with suspected war veterans and Zanu PF militia. Chokururama and another colleague were bundled into one truck while the other two were forced into the other truck."
Chokururama was not so lucky to escape with his life this time.
His body was found in a riverbed on Tuesday with multiple stab wounds. Chokururama's widow, Sabina, told The Standard yesterday at Warren Hills Cemetery where he was buried that he had left to visit his mother in Murehwa, when he was abducted and murdered.
"I was telephoned by police in Murehwa, who told me that he had been found murdered," she said. "I identified the body, which had multiple stab wounds on the back and on the abdomen. He had what appeared to be gunshot wounds on his legs."