Glen View 29 inmate burial today

HARARE - MDC member Rebecca Mafukeni, who died after spending two years in remand prison on allegations of murdering a police inspector in Glen View, will be buried today in Harare.

Mafukeni’s death on Monday left 28 in court charged with murder or alternatively public violence as defined in Sections 47 and 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The group is waiting for the court’s ruling after human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa applied for discharge at the close of the state’s case.

Out of the 29, five suspects had remained behind bars, including Mafukeni after High Court Judge Chinemebiri Bhunu denied them bail. Bhunu ruled that the state had a strong case against the five.

Mafukeni, 29, passed on Monday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where she had been admitted after falling ill.

She was incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison since her arrest in May 2011.

Mafukeni, according to the MDC, joined the party in 2000 and worked as a gender representative before joining the security department between 2003 and 2004.

She became the party’s youth assembly vice organising secretary for Harare province in 2011, a position she held until the time of her death.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) expressed sadness over Mafukeni’s death, describing it as “unfortunate and painful”.

“As a result of the malevolent and unjustified actions of the State, Rebecca languished in prison where her condition deteriorated,” ZLHR said in a statement.

“Those implicated in and responsible for her predicaments are complicit in and contributed to her sad death. These architects of Rebecca’s death must be held accountable for the loss of such a precious life and we call for an immediate investigation into her death and swift action against the perpetrators by the prosecutorial authorities.”

The human rights group added: “It is cruel, unwarranted and unfair that such a well-lived life has ended in this needless manner. Only bringing the perpetrators to account will assist in ending this unacceptable culture of impunity.”

According to Clifford Hlatywayo, MDC national youth spokesperson, Mafukeni was “a dedicated, loyal and committed liberator who has proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a true revolutionary in this fight for democracy and the real emancipation of the ordinary sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.”

He said the struggle for democracy and emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe had suffered a huge blow.

Mourners are gathered at No 34, 5th Avenue in Warren Park 1, in Harare.

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