26 February 2013

Zimbabwe: CIO Agents Visit Maisiri Over Son's Death in Arson Attack

Four CIO operatives on Tuesday visited the home of Shepherd Maisiri in Headlands, the scene of the gruesome death of his son, Christpower in a suspected arson attack. He will be buried on Thursday in Dzikiti village, his father confirmed.

Maisiri, and MDC-T official in the area, told SW Radio Africa that the operatives drove to his homestead in a Mazda pick-up truck that had no number plates. He refused to discuss the incident with them on the grounds that 'murders' or 'crime scenes' are investigated by the police and not state security agents.

"The fact that they came to my house with a vehicle that had no plates was also a bit suspicious. I asked them about it and they claimed they could have fallen off on their way to my home," Maisiri said.

He explained: "Even in my state of grieving I'm not that stupid or naïve to believe that. Those people (CIO's) are killers of innocent civilians. They could have simply kidnapped a person of interest and fled with them without trace."

The angry Maisiri said he was not amused by comments made by ZANU PF Minister Didymus Mutasa that he had nothing to do with Christpower's death, because he was a 'friend'. Mutasa claimed in a newspaper interview that Maisiri was a ZANU PF cadre who was no threat to him.

"I read what Mutasa said in that interview and all I can say is that he is a mad man and needs to have his head examined. To say that he is my friend is a total joke. If he was...he should be here with me paying his condolences with the rest of other people gathered here," a fuming Maisiri said.

The horrific death of his son has totally been ignored by the state controlled media. The incident on Saturday night has been extensively covered by the independent newspapers in the country as well as the international media.

The MDC-T's deputy Justice Minister, Senator Obert Gutu said the media black out just goes to show that the state media is not sure how to cover the tragic event, because it involves a senior member of ZANU PF.

Gutu claimed that the primary target for Saturday's attack was Shepherd Maisiri, Christpower's father. The Senator told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that Maisiri was the intended target of the attack because he dared challenge a senior member of ZANU PF in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Maisiri has openly accused ZANU PF's Mutasa, the MP for Headlands, of allegedly leading efforts to 'eliminate' him from the poll race. Maisiri is the local deputy organising secretary of the MDC-T in the same area.

Gutu pointed out that as long as perpetrators of the June 2008 violence were still roaming freely, there was likelihood the electioneering period this year will be bloody.

"ZANU PF is very good at talking peace but acting war. You must realise that the primary target was Shepherd Maisiri primarily because he has dared challenge someone big in that party," Gutu said.

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