‘Difficult to find closure to Dzamara’s disappearance’

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Itai Dzamara

BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
MISSING journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara’s wife, Sheffra yesterday said she was having difficulty finding closure on the disappearance of her husband, who was allegedly abducted at a barber shop in Glen View, Harare seven years ago.

Dzamara, a well-known activist and fierce critic of the late former President Robert Mugabe’s government, disappeared in 2015.

Sheffra told NewsDay that she was disappointed by the lack of progress in the search for Dzamara despite calls by the international community and civic society organisations to account for his disappearance.

“It is hard to cope with the disappearance of Itai.

As the Dzamara family, we are always wondering where he is or what happened to him.

My children are getting older and yet they do not even know where their father is.

“The government has shown that it does not care about what happened to him.

There is still no progress after seven years.

I know for a fact that the police are capable of providing answers through carrying out investigations, but they are choosing not to.

I urge the government to help my family to find closure on what happened to my husband.”

In commemorating Dzamara’s disappearance, Zimbabwe Peace Project, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Amnesty International and Zimbabwe Divine Destiny organised free haircuts for people at selected barber shops in Highfield.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director Musa Kika told NewsDay that Dzamara’s continued disappearance reflected everything wrong with Zimbabwe’s human rights situation.

“To us, Dzamara’s continued disappearance exemplifies all that is wrong with our society: silencing dissent, violence and impunity.

Someone, somewhere, alive and here in Zimbabwe, knows what happened to Itai.

There is still a live court order that requires police to investigate and report back to the courts.

Yet still, nothing was done.

The government seems not to care much for this.

What this means is that none of us is safe. What happened to Itai can happen to any of us.

This is wrong,” Kika said.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) chairperson Peter Mutasa said: “We hold the Zimbabwean government responsible for the enforced disappearance of Itai Dzamara.

The attacks on Dzamara during his protests and the unsavoury comments of government officials leave no other conclusion.

Then the refusal, neglect or failure of the State to investigate and bring closure to this matter shows that the government is not interested.

Zimbabwe is almost a police State and if authorities wanted, they could have resolved this criminal puzzle.

Every Zimbabwean must be worried about this matter because we are all vulnerable

. Anyone who differs from the State’s position may meet the same fate. For this reason, we all must collectively demand a just closure of this matter.”

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi asked NewsDay to put its questions in writing.  By the time of going to print he still had not responded to the questions.

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