|Died||Between 13 and 22 May 2008|
|Cause of death||murdered|
|Body discovered||morgue at Parirenyatwa Hospital|
|Resting place||Warren Hills Cemetery, Harare, Zimbabwe|
|Known for||political activist|
Tonderai Ndira (1975/1976 – May 2008) was a Zimbabwe and a Movement for Democratic Change party member murdered in May 2008.
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare and the second largest being Bulawayo. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.
The Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC–T) was a center-left political party and was the main opposition party in the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe ahead of the 2018 elections. After the split of the original Movement for Democratic Change in 2005, the MDC–T remained the major opposition faction, while a smaller faction, the Movement for Democratic Change – Ncube, or MDC–N, was led by Welshman Ncube. The two parties re-united in 2018 under the original name, the Movement for Democratic Change.
Ndira lived in the township of Mabvuku and Tafara, east of the capital, Harare, and was a "prominent activist"member of the Movement for Democratic Change. He was described as a human rights campaigner and as "a youth activist who went around the country holding workshops and teaching people their rights". He had a wife and three young children.
Mabvuku is a high density suburb some 17 km east of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. It is classified as a suburb or township of Harare, with Harare City Council constituting local government. It encompasses in particular the townships that include Old Mabvuku and New Mabvuku, and more generally Old Tafara, and New Tafara. Chizhanje is a former dormitory suburb of hostels very close to Old Mabvuku that is nominally part of Mabvuku.
He was arrested on thirty-five occasions, and was reportedly described by his followers as "Zimbabwe's Steve Biko".
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The Sunday Herald reported:
Ndira was accused of taking part in an assault in 2006 against MP Trudy Stevenson and three other members of the splinter pro-Senate MDC-M.He and several others were arrested, then released without charge due to lack of evidence. The MDC accused Zanu-PF of being behind the attack.
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He was abducted from his home by ten armed men early in the morning of 13 May 2008, in the context of campaigning between the two rounds of the 2008 presidential election. His body was found later in the month; it was reported that he had been shot in the heart, with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged, his tongue cut out, and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken.The Sunday Herald stated that he had been "murdered by government death squads", and added:
The politics of Zimbabwe takes place in a framework of a full presidential republic, whereby the President is the head of state and government as organized by the 2013 Constitution. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The status of Zimbabwean politics has been thrown into question by a 2017 coup.
A death squad is an armed group that conducts extrajudicial killings or forced disappearances of persons for the purposes such as political repression, assassinations, torture, genocide, ethnic cleansing, or revolutionary terror. These killings are often conducted in ways meant to ensure the secrecy of the killers' identities. Death squads may have the support of domestic or foreign governments. They may comprise a secret police force, paramilitary militia groups, government soldiers, policemen, or combinations thereof. They may also be organized as vigilantes. When death squads are not controlled by the state, they may consist of insurgent forces or organized crime, such as the ones used by cartels.
The autopsy's preliminary report failed to identify a cause of death. It showed that the damage to Ndira's body was due to decomposition rather than torture; due to the amount of time necessary for this degree of decomposition, it was believed that he was killed promptly after being abducted.
Following the discovery of his body on 22 May, Ndira was buried at Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare three days later. MDC party president Morgan Tsvangirai, who had returned to Zimbabwe shortly beforehand, presided over the funeral and described Ndira's killing as "a clear testimony of the callousness of this regime", vowing to defeat Mugabe in the election despite such violence.
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The Zimbabwe grounds are an area within Highfield Suburb on the south of Zimbabwe's Capital, Harare. It is surrounded by Old Highfield section on the greater part and share borders with Takashinga cricket ground, Zimbabwe Hall, Highfield Library, a Nursery School, Anglican Church and Chipembere Primary School annexe. The grounds are within a stone's throw of Gwanzura football stadium.
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