Aspiring Goromonzi ward 8 councillor Richard Murape is a man who has fled his home after being persecuted for his political conviction.
He has been on the radar of the state machinery as well as the ruling party apparatchiks for persecution.
Murape is a man who has been abducted, assaulted, and injured a couple of times for participating in opposition politics.
He has since fled his home to an unknown safety location, as those close to him say his political opponents wants to physically eliminate him.
On the third of April in 2022, Murape, a Citizen Coalition for Change member who has been a renowned supporter of the opposition politics since the days of Morgan Tsvangirai, was abducted and assaulted by known ZANU PF operatives in the Goromonzi, Mashonaland east province area of Zimbabwe.
He was being accused of funding opposition political activities.
“He had to be admitted at a private hospital from the 4th to the 7th of April,” said his wife whom we cannot name for security reasons.
According to the wife known state security agents wanted to abduct him for “coordinating President Chamisa’s community engagement programmes in the Goromonzi area.
“State security agents came again and again to his homestead and his small business…in fact, they had become regular visitors at his premises looking for him.
“Myself and the kids have also been harassed, no one has been spared,” she added
Luck finally ran out and he was again abducted and assaulted on the 28th of May.
“He had to be admitted at Mutoko general hospital from the 29th of May to the 31st of May,” she said
In the aftermath of the arrest of CCC vice chairman Job Sikhala in June, Murape is one of the opposition activists who participated in the demos which ensued.
“He became a marked man, a targeted man and this time they wanted to take him out, to politically annihilate him…They said he had become a politically undesirable element in society.
“They spend several nights looking for him. They were using a black Ford Ranger (without number plates) and the team consisted of 3 men and 1 dreadlocked lady,” he said.
He had to leave to an unknown destination.
Political violence has been a tragic part of Zimbabwe’s DNA.
From the horrors of the post-independence Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s (in which the current President Mnangagwa himself is implicated), to the beatings, torture, and killings of political opponents of Mugabe’s regime in 2008, the 1st of August killings in the aftermaths of the 2018 elections up to now.
Political power has been sought and maintained through violence, intimidation, and physical elimination of opponents.