MDC provincial chairman, Wilstuf Sitemere said Costa Saliwa (29), from Ward 38, Gutu Central constituency, who was a Ward Youth chairman, was allegedly assaulted for standing as the party’s polling agent at Chidembo Primary during last year’s March 29 harmonized elections.
Sitemere said following the torture, the deceased was admitted at Mukaro Hospital in Gutu where he was discharged. But his health continued to deteriorate such that he was continuously in and out of hospital, prompting him to be transferred to the province’s largest health referral centre, Masvingo General Hospital, where he died on May 10.
“Saliwa was a dedicated cadre who died while defending the country and his party as well. He was abducted last year days before the runoff elections and spent three days in a state of incommunicado before being found dumped.
“His health deteriorated from there on as he was admitted at Mukaro hospital. From there, he was continuously in and out of hospital. He was admitted at Masvingo General where he latter died on Saturday,” said Sitemere.
Costa’s brother, Rennias Saliwa, blamed the deceased’s death on ZANU PF supporters and state security agents.
“It is as good as my brother was killed by ZANU PF thugs. He was ever in hospital after the assault, and we can safely say he was killed, though gradually,” said Rennias.
MDC ward 38 councilor, Cuthbert Jinga, who is also the Gutu Rural District Council chairman, appealed to the state to help political violence victims.
“We are struggling to meet burial costs and we therefore appeal to the state to assist not only in this instance, but all victims of political violence if the national healing process is to achieve its goals,” Jinga said.
Costa, who is survived by a wife and one child, will be buried on Wednesday in Wazuka village, headman Gadzingo, in Gutu.