Dzamara’s wife demands answers 8 years on

Itai Dzamara

The wife of “abducted” journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara’s wife, Sheffra yesterday expressed disappointment over the failure by the State to provide answers to what happened to her husband who has been missing for eight years.

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

The journalist was allegedly abducted by State agents at a barber shop in Glen View, Harare, eight years ago.

In 2016, Sheffra, in the company of Itai’s late brother, Patson, submitted a petition to the United Nations Children’s Fund over Itai’s disappearance.

In 2020, she penned an emotional open letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa begging him to use his powers to find Itai.

“My efforts have yielded no answers. We once attempted to talk to government, but up to now, they are quiet. It is very painful to come to the understanding that the Zimbabwean government, which is supposed to shield and protect its citizens, is doing nothing with regards to my husband’s case,” Sheffra told NewsDay yesterday. “It pains me everyday to think that we are not free in our own country when the government takes no action after one of our own disappears.”

Sheffra said she had now left everything in God’s hands.

“Life has not been that good as my children constantly ask where their father is. I have nothing to tell them. I want to appeal to government to assist us in finding what happened to Itai since he was a citizen of this country. It will also help us find closure. I plead with international organisations not to tire and keep asking about Itai’s whereabouts.”

In commemorating Dzamara’s disappearance yesterday, Amnesty International Zimbabwe said the continued failure of Zimbabwean authorities to launch an effective investigation into his disappearance was a travesty of justice, which sends a chilling message about the security of others who demand accountability from government.

Amnesty International Zimbabwe executive director Lucia Masuka said: “The failure of Zimbabwean authorities to account for the enforced disappearance of Dzamara eight years after he was last seen speaks volumes about the lack of political will to account for him.

“The world and Dzamara’s family want truth and justice for his disappearance. His family also wants to be freed from the agonising uncertainty they have been subjected to since his disappearance,” she said.

“Today, we join Itai’s family in calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to conduct a thorough, independent, effective, and transparent investigation into Itai Dzamara’s disappearance.”

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