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Abducted Zimbabwe opposition party activist found dead ahead of election

UPI

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A Zimbabwe opposition party activist was found dead on a roadside after being abducted while campaigning ahead of a special election.

Tapfumaneyi Masaya's abduction was the second in as many weeks targeting members of the Citizens Coalition for Change party and the fourth homicide related to the party in a year.

In August, the incumbent party, Zanu-PF, was voted into power during a general election, but the Citizens Coalition for Change, the country's largest opposition party, said the election was stolen. A special election is scheduled for December to fill vacant Parliament seats.

Masaya and a fellow activist were forced into a vehicle while door-to-door campaigning for Citizens Coalition for Change members on Saturday. The other activist was released without serious injuries. Masaya, a pastor, was discovered Sunday on a road near the capital, Harare.

Nelson Chamisa, president of the Citizens Coalition For Change, called Masaya's death "a tragic and ugly turn of politics in Zimbabwe."

"This is a clear indication that Zimbabwe is sadly in the wrong hands and heading into a dangerous direction," he said on X. "Since the 23 August 2023 stolen election, there has been an increase in cases of arrests on trumped up charges, abductions, torture, enforced disappearances, internal displacements and crimes against humanity targeted mainly at CCC MPs, Councillors, citizens, change champions and activists."

The U.S. Embassy and Amnesty International Zimbabwe called for an investigation into Masaya's death.

"The United States is alarmed by the reported abduction & death of an opposition campaign worker in #Zimbabwe. We call for a full investigation by the local authorities, peaceful preparations for the December by-elections & an end to political violence," the embassy said on X.