THE United States government has vowed to continue piling pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government to address human rights abuses and account for abducted journalist-cum-human rights activist Itai Dzamara.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Two US government officials — Shannon Smith (deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs) and Steven Feldstein (deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour) — arrived in Harare on Tuesday and said they will engage government officials, opposition parties and several groups on human rights issues.
However, the officials cautioned that they were not in the country to make any policy pronouncements, but were in a “listening mode”.
“The other point I would want to raise is that we are now entering the third month after the disappearance of Itai Dzamara.
“This experience is a strong concern of the United States and we have raised the issue with the government,” Feldstein said.
“We do hope that the government of Zimbabwe, including the police and security services, allow Zimbabweans to demonstrate freely and express themselves.”
Dzamara was abducted by suspected State security agents near his home in Glen View, Harare, on March 9 and his whereabouts have remained a mystery.
The High Court has since ordered police to investigate the matter and update his family every fortnight.
But, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights yesterday said police had breached the court order by failing to submit the fortnightly updates.