In an incident that has raised eyebrows in the human rights world,the body of a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party supporter kidnapped days after fuel protests shut down the country in January has turned up at a mortuary in Chitungwiza, his devastated family said on Wednesday.
Blessing Toronga had not been seen since January 24 when witnesses reported seeing him being abducted from Glen Norah C Shopping Centre in Harare by unidentified men driving in a white Foton Tunland without number plates.
Abel Toronga, his uncle, said after more than a month of searching, Blessing’s body had been found “badly decomposed” at the Chitungizwa Hospital mortuary on Monday this week.
Blessing’s body was delivered to the hospital on January 27, three days after his abduction, Toronga said.
“We don’t know who killed my brother’s son, but we have been all over looking for him. It really consumed our lives. We are now preparing to bury him,” Toronga said.
Confirmation of Blessing’s death brings to 18 the number of documented deaths after the military and police launched a brutal crackdown following a three-day job boycott called by trade unions over steep fuel price increases which ended in street protests on January 14.
Human rights groups say over 80 people, most of them young men, were treated for gunshot wounds and over 1,000 others, including trade unionists and opposition MPs, were rounded up and charged with crimes ranging from looting to treason.