Sadc must quiz Mugabe over Dzamara — ZCTU

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Journalist Itai Dzamara lies on the ground after he and nine other demonstrators were bashed byanti- riot police following their Occupy Africa Unity Square demonstration in Harare on Thursday. Dzamara was on Thrusday night reported to be in the intensive care unit at a private hospital in the capital

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has appealed to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders meeting in Harare this week to quiz President Robert Mugabe over human rights abuses in the country.

BY Christopher Mahove

They also want Mugabe to be questioned over the abduction of activist and journalist Itai Dzamara, who has been missing since March 9.

ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo also said the Sadc leaders, meeting in the capital to discuss the region’s industrialisation strategy, were wasting taxpayers’ money on a conference that was unlikely to produce any meaningful results for the region instead of addressing the issues of xenophobia and human rights abuses in the region.

“The current chairperson of Sadc, President Robert Mugabe, who is well known for silencing dissent, has one of his critics, Itai Dzamara, missing and should be made to account for that. This is in addition to the spate of politically-motivated violence that has erupted in the country,” Moyo said.

ZCTU’s demands come at a time local civil society organisations have threatened to doorstep Sadc leaders and protest over Dzamara’s alleged abduction by suspected State security agents.

However, the labour body said previous gatherings of this nature had not yielded any positive results for the continent.

“These talk shows have only managed to draw taxpayers’ money with nothing to show for it except for leaders to pat themselves on the back. Presently, Zimbabwe is facing serious economic problems, including severe drought; that money being used for such gatherings could be best used elsewhere,” he said.

Dzamara’s family and friends were now slowly losing any hopes of him being retuned alive, with police claiming that they do not have any leads yet as to his whereabouts. The activist was abducted by unknown men in an unmarked vehicle while coming out of a barber shop in Glen View suburb, Harare, on March 9 this year and has not been accounted for since then.

There have also been waves of politically motivated violence as the country prepares for by-elections necessitated by the recalling of 21 “rebel” legislators by the opposition MDC-T.

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