Three years ago, activist Itai Dzamara was abducted and the police seemed to be lackadaisical in their investigations to finding him.
The police were ordered by the High Court to give regular updates on their investigations, but did not do so.
Now the police have issued statements that they are looking for Dzamara and we are sceptical that this could be more than an elaborate window dressing scheme by this government that is desperate for legitimacy.
The issue of the missing Dzamara is a pain in the neck for the authorities, with some western governments demanding that the government should speedily institute investigations into what happened to him.
The government is desperate for legitimacy and has promised free and fair elections, but some foreign governments have seen beyond this charade and demanded that Zimbabwe must account for Dzamara and other missing activists, Patrick Nabanyama and Paul Chizuze, if the country’s polls are going to regarded as credible.
The topmost question is why have the authorities been laid back in their search for Dzamara and are only seen to be active now, three years later.
In their statement, the police say Dzamara was allegedly abducted by people travelling in a Nissan Hardbody, whose registration number began with ABB2, with the three other digits obscured.
This narrows down the search to 999 cars — not many of them are Nissan Hardbody vehicles — and this should make the police’s work much easier.
The vehicle should have been registered with the Central Vehicle Registry, meaning it should be much easy pinning which car Dzamara could have been abducted in.
The police have had plenty of time to investigate this case and they should be telling Zimbabweans how far they have gone and what impediments they met or are meeting along the way.
The plea for anyone with information about the missing activist issued on Monday seems half-hearted and meant to pull the wool over the eyes of Zimbabweans, who have for the past three years been demanding to know the whereabouts of Dzamara.
While the police can argue that this is a genuine appeal, the timing of it smacks of hypocrisy and seems to serve an agenda.
However, on the other hand one can argue it is never too late to do the right thing and the police could get the right leads following this public appeal.
We hope this time they will update Dzamara’s family and Zimbabweans on the progress of these investigations.