HARARE – SLAIN Christpower Maisiri was born in Radze Mountain in 2000 as his parents hid from marauding shock-troops loyal to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
On Saturday night, he met his death in a politically-orchestrated arson attack, again blamed on Zanu PF.
It has been a roller coaster for the 12-year-old boy. Since birth, Christpower has known no peace.
He watched his mother being raped by a top aide of a local Zanu PF MP, witnessed their home burnt several times by militia and spent several nights on the run from “agents of the devil”, as the deadly murderers hunted for his father Shepherd Maisiri.
After surviving the senseless midnight attack, Christpower’s distraught mother recounted the torment she has gone through to the Daily News.
“I delivered this son in a mountain because I was fleeing from Zanu PF activists who wanted to kill me,” the boy’s sobbing mother Beauty, told the Daily News.
“He has been made to be a sacrificial lamb for the MDC and this constituency will definitely go to the MDC,” she vowed, leaning on the door of her makeshift kitchen in the eastern farming area of Headlands.
“I was raped in 2008 by a Zanu PF election agent Lovemore Manenji, my house was burnt eight times by Zanu PF supporters. I want Mutasa to come out clean in this matter or else the blood of my son will not rest until the truth is known about those behind the killing,” she said.
Manenji is serving a 32-year sentence for the rape case.
Staring blankly at her one- roomed cottage where young Christpower met his death, she says the death of her son has invigorated her to campaign for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the forthcoming polls with even more vigour.
Christpower met his painful death in a hut he was sleeping in.
His siblings were rescued, while the Ruura Primary School-boy was not so lucky after the roof caved in, charring him to death.
His mother said she suspected Zanu PF supporters — probably targeting her husband, Shepherd, who is wrestling for the Headlands Constituency seat with Didymus Mutasa, the powerful Zanu PF secretary for administration and minister of State in Mugabe’s office — were behind the attack.
Maisiri, who is squaring off in the MDC primary election with David Tekesha, has unfurled a comprehensive campaign, and was on the campaign trail the day his son was killed.
While Mutasa was not picking up his phone yesterday when the Daily News called him for comment on the latest charges, he insisted on Sunday that Maisiri was in fact a Zanu PF cadre.
Mutasa said it was “impossible” for his party to be master minders of the heinous act on Maisiri, claiming he was a Zanu PF official.
“Yes, I know Maisiri. But there is no way he could contest against me when he is a member of my party. Yes, he comes from Chief Makoni’s area and resides in headman Dzikiti’s village, but he is not an MDC supporter,” said Mutasa.
“In any case, I have not received such a report. The only case I heard is that of three people who died in a road accident in my constituency,” Mutasa said on Sunday.
Maisiri’s wife — a 40-year-old avid MDC supporter — said she has suffered enough at the hands of what she claimed were “Zanu PF militants”.
The sobbing mother of six said it is high time the ex-majority party and their leaders in Manicaland are held accountable for their “satanic acts”. She said they were acting in a “devilish way”.
“This is Satanism at its highest level, I know that Zanu PF is a legend when it comes to doing such things, but I can say they have started war against me,” fumed the apostolic sect member.
“I am going to take the sitting MP to the cleaners, ndirikuda kumudzidzisa maitiro epolitics muno (I want to teach him how we do politics here), Kana vaiti ivo vandikaurisa, hapana zvavaita, MDC yavakuzowinner zvino and Mutasa ngaatogadzirira kuenda kumusha kwake (If they thought that they have destroyed me, they have done nothing, MDC is now going to win resoundingly in this area),” she vowed.
She said Zanu PF was doomed through its dastardly actions, adding Mugabe’s party will “never get any respect from any reasonable person” in the constituency as it had demonstrated that “it is an anti-people organisation”.
Her husband, Shepherd, said prior to the fatal attack on his home, he had received death threats directed at him and his family.
He said he had “absolutely no doubt” that the killers came from Zanu PF.
“I have been a problem to Mutasa since 1999 when the MDC was formed,” he told the Daily News.
“More recently, trouble started when I confronted the MP (Mutasa) asking for explanations as to how the constituency development fund (CDF) was used.
“We heard that he had given our ward only $200 out of the $50 000 that was allocated to the entire constituency. I raised that with him but he had no answer and I suspect that is where all this issue is emanating from,” said Maisiri.
Police deputy commissioner general Innocent Matibiri told Parliament on Monday that police were still investigating the matter, with no leads yet.
But the Maisiri family says it has furnished Inyati Police Station with names of people it suspects were behind the heinous act.
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti on Monday told a news conference at Harvest House, the MDC headquarters in central Harare, that Zimbabweans should not be subjected to the same “mini-genocide similar to that experienced in 2008.
“If we do that, we would be an irresponsible party,” he said.
However, in a ZBC broadcast last night, Zanu PF denied responsibility over the Headlands violence.
“Police are investigating the matter and we hope they get to the bottom of the story timeously and as diligently as possible because it is in the public interest to do so.
“Zanu PF does not condone violence and President Mugabe has relentlessly called for tolerance and non-violence. There is no reason to believe that Zanu PF members can openly defy Cde Mugabe’s efforts to make sure Zimbabwe holds a free and fair harmonised election,” the statement said.
Christpower will be buried in Headlands tomorrow, joining a lengthening party roll of honour comprising those who perished in the fight for democratic change.
Tsvangirai is expected to attend the burial. – Xolisani Ncube