HomeNewsHuman rights activist feared dead

Human rights activist feared dead

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Civic activist and Masakhaneni Trust director, Dumisani Mpofu yesterday expressed fear that human rights campaigner Paul Chizuze, who disappeared in February, could have been killed for his activism contrary to his family’s belief that he could be in hiding.

Chizuze went missing on the night of February 8 after leaving home at around 8pm and his whereabouts remain unknown, giving rise to suspicion that he could have been abducted and murdered.

His car, a white twin cab Nissan Hardbody (registration ACJ 3446), has also not been
found.

“We suspect foul play,” said Mpofu. “While it’s true that his family’s reaction created confusion last time, it wastheir way of seeing things. We waited as civil society for them to prove that their belief was correct, but we have seen that they are wrong.

“With what is happening in this country and Chizuze’s long history of fighting for human rights, a reasonable person can only suspect foul play. He could have been abducted and murdered, a reasonable person can only suspect that.”

Masakhaneni Trust and nine other civic organisations, which include Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimrights yesterday flighted advertisements in daily publications requesting for information which may lead to Chizuze’s whereabouts.

“Missing four months — disappeared 8 February.
We are still looking for you. We are still
concerned about you. We are still requesting information that leads to your recovery — dead or alive,” reads the advert.

Concern has been mounting in the country over Chizuze’s fate leading to his friends launching a campaign on social media networks, Facebook and Twitter, as they continue looking for him.

Other organisations led by the Christian Group Churches in Bulawayo and the Solidarity Peace Trust also recently issued an appeal saying they feared Chizuze may have been “murdered”.

Chizuze is a paralegal who worked with civic organisations like the Amani Trust.

He worked closely with the Minister of Education, Sports, Art and Culture David Coltart who on his blog on Twitter said: “I am very distressed about the disappearance of a good friend and colleague.”

Fellow activists have been quoted as stating Chizuze was one of the many volunteers who led efforts to search for Coltart’s election agent, Patrick Nabanyama who disappeared at the height of political violence in 2000, and has never been found.

Nabanyama has since been declared dead.

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