‘Govt silence on Dzamara whereabouts disturbing’

BY VENERANDA LANGA

THE main opposition MDC has expressed concern over government’s silence on the whereabouts of journalist-turned-human rights defender Itai Dzamara, who disappeared in 2015 and has not been accounted for four years on.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said there was need for law enforcement agents to intensify investigations into the whereabouts of Dzamara and bring to book those who abducted him.

“Four years after Dzamara’s disappearance, we are surprised that government and the law enforcement agents are no longer talking about it, and yet it was clear from the modus operandi that he was abducted,” Mafume said.

“The culprits had number plates that can be traced, and as long as these killings and abductions continue unaccounted for, it will be difficult to measure the sincerity of government in transforming Zimbabwe into a civilian State, especially now that we are in a military State.”

The European Union also said government must reveal what exactly happened to Dzamara to account for him.

“Four years after his abduction, Itai Dzamara remains missing. We call on government to shed light on his fate and serve justice, and to tackle all human rights violations decisively, in line with Zimbabwe’s repeated commitment to human rights, freedoms and national healing,” the EU statement read. Dzamara was well known for his Occupy Africa Unity Square campaigns against the rule of former President Robert Mugabe.

He became famous when he hand-delivered a petition to Mugabe, and was also arrested and beaten up several times.

Dzamara was abducted on the morning of March 9, 2015 by five unidentified men while at a barbershop in Harare’s Glen View suburb.

His brother, Patson Dzamara, held a Press conference on May 30, 2016 where he revealed that Itai was abducted by military intelligence officers and also released a picture showing the human rights defender in captivity, which he said he had been given by insiders at the military intelligence unit.

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