By Simbarashe Sithole
Mazowe-based human rights activist Evans Matola has challenged government to update the nation on the whereabouts of missing rights defender Itai Dzamara, who was reportedly abducted by suspected State security agents on March 9, 2015.
Speaking during the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) outreach programme at Umvukwes Primary School in Mvurwi on Tuesday, Matola said the commission should tirelessly seek the truth on the issue of missing Dzamara.
“Indeed, we are at a healing ceremony, but we demand to know the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara, who was abducted by security agents. As activists, we are so bitter. Government should tell us the whereabouts of Dzamara because they know where they put him,” Matola said.
“If this commission is genuine, it should flex its muscles on the Dzamara issue and force the government to speak the truth about the missing activist. We know the State played a pivotal role in sponsoring the butchering of people, especially in 2008, but today, I am talking of an issue that is well-known by every Zimbabwean, hence government should come out clean on that.”
The activist almost sobbed as he also narrated how he became a victim of alleged State-sponsored tortures and how he eventually became poor at the end.
“You are hearing testimonies from real victims and I am glad that some of the perpetrators are here in this building. But these perpetrators did not commit these atrocities out of love of it, but were sponsored by the State, especially in 2008,” he said.
“This district is well-known for political violence and in my case, uniformed forces were there when my home was invaded during daylight and I lost all my property to hooligans during that time. This is why up to this day I am still a poor man.
“I made an appeal, but nothing came out, but today, I am demanding compensation. How can we just let hooligans get away with it, yet we stay with them in the same community?”
NPRC commissioner Charles Masunungure, however, said cases like Dzamara’s fell under the jurisdiction of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
“As NPRC, we have limitations on some matters as of Itai Dzamara. That case is under the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, so we cannot comment on that issue,” he said.