Zanu-PF district chairperson Cde Leonard Chisaka was found hanging from a tree near his homestead in Uzumba, Mashonaland East, at the weekend.

Family members say foul play is suspected as the now deceased openly opposed those linked to a faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru. Police say they are treating the case as murder.

Chisaka (33) died days after he had reported death threats from unknown persons following his involvement in demonstrations in Marondera against the Mashonaland East party executive led by Cde Ray Kaukonde.

His body was ferried to Mtawatawa Hospital for post-mortem and police have since launched investigations into the case.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said investigations were under way to establish the cause of the death.

"Police is currently investigating the circumstances which led to the death of Leonard Chisaka (33) of Chiseya Village under Chief Chirinda in UMP. Initially, when this report was made people in the area suspected it could be suicide. However, with new revelations, we are now treating it as suspected murder. We are waiting for the post-mortem report to be conducted and at the same time police are intensifying investigations with a view of establishing what actually transpired," he said.

Chief Supt Nyathi said police were looking at all possible avenues to get to the bottom of the case.

The death of Cde Chisaka comes at a time when villagers in Mashonaland East province are fleeing their homes to seek refuge at the Zanu-PF party offices in Marondera after receiving death threats for participating in the demonstrations against the Kaukonde-led provincial executive.

Some of the villagers, among them Mrs Revai Chigwedere, who spoke to the news crew, accused their National Assembly members Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa and his colleague Cde Washington Musvaire of being behind the threats.

Leaders of the interim provincial executive committee who have been looking after the villagers said they were not happy with the situation.

A youth, Cde Samson Chipfiko said: "There are other villagers from Mudzi and Goromonzi who are fleeing their homes after receiving death threats".

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