The family of the late Moreblessing Ali has condemned the violence that erupted during her burial at Zororo Memorial Park in Chitungwiza on Saturday, 02 March.

Suspected opposition supporters, some believed to be aligned with former Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa, clashed with alleged supporters of the Ali family’s lawyer Job Sikhala, who is a former CCC vice chairman.

While it is not clear what sparked the clashes, Chamisa’s alleged supporters reportedly blocked Sikhala from giving a graveside speech accusing him of betraying the “opposition struggle.”

In a statement, the family’s spokesperson Washington Ali, who is a brother to the late Moreblessing, described the violent scene as “distressing”, saying they have reported the incidents to the police. Reads the statement:

Statement Regarding the Violence at Moreblessing Ali’s burial.

We, the members of the Ali family, express our profound disapproval of the violent incidents that unfolded during the burial of our dear family member, Moreblessing Ali, on March 2, 2024.

Our original intent was to bid farewell to our relative with the utmost dignity and without the distressing scenes we unfortunately witnessed.

Our family firmly maintained the position that Moreblessing Ali’s interment would not proceed until our family lawyer, Honorable Job Sikhala, was released from prison.

We had engaged Hon. Sikhala to represent us when we were in the dark about Moreblessing Ali’s whereabouts following her disappearance in May 2022.

His legal expertise guided us through the intricate legal landscape, enabling us to seek answers about our relative’s fate.

We patiently awaited Hon. Sikhala’s release, recognizing the sacrifices he made on behalf of our family.

As a united family, we convened multiple meetings to ensure that the unfortunate events of June 14, 2022, would not recur.

Our collective decision was clear: Moreblessing Ali’s burial would adhere strictly to the family’s wishes and desires.

Politics, party affiliations, slogans, and any interference with the family’s intentions were categorically prohibited. The funeral program would unfold according to our internal arrangements.

Regrettably, certain individuals disrupted the solemnity of the occasion by injecting politics and slogans into the proceedings.

Their actions led to violence and insults, which we find utterly unacceptable.

Furthermore, some even took it upon themselves to dictate the funeral program, disregarding the family’s expressed wishes.

As a family, we have taken the necessary steps to involve law enforcement in addressing the disruptive behaviour during our loved one’s funeral.

It is crucial that we curb this behaviour promptly to foster a culture of respect for funerals and memorial services.

The inhumane, insensitive, and reprehensible actions witnessed have deeply affected our family.