Nabanyama, Chizuze, Dzamara remembered

Source: Nabanyama, Chizuze, Dzamara remembered – The Southern Eye

MATABELELAND-based civic groups and political parties on Wednesday held a memorial service in Bulawayo in remembrance of victims of enforced disappearances in the country.

The memorial service was organised by local pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu, where relatives of 31 victims of enforced disappearance gave moving testimonies about the abduction of their family members.

The event coincided with the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances which is commemorated annually on August 30 across the globe.

Among those listed as having been victims of enforced disappearance include  Paul Andrea Chizuze, Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara and Albert Khutshwa Nkomo.

Their whereabouts remain unknown to date.

Speaking during the memorial service, Chizuze’s close friend, Nicholas Ndlovu, said he was yet to come to terms with the disappearance of the activist.

“It was on February 7, 2011 when Paul disappeared. We heard that he was last seen in Newton West,” Ndlovu said.

“You know that when one disappears, you are advised to wait for certain days, you are advised to check in hospitals, police and mortuaries, that experience is horrifying…

“We even went to South Africa two times to look for him. About six months later, we heard that his car was located in Beitbridge.

“We went there with his brother to identify and clear it. We found that it had gathered dust but it was still intact and even his shoes were inside the car.”

Sidumo Bhebhe from Silobela in the Midlands province, a relative of kidnapped Zipra ex-combatant Norman Bhebhe said the family was still traumatised.

Bhebhe was abducted in the 1980’s during Gukurahundi.

He also said his two uncles disappeared during that time.

“I have two uncles, Rodger Mpofu and Moses Mpofu who disappeared and have never been seen since,” Bhebhe said.

“They were taken at night by people who were wearing military uniform. Moses was not active in politics like Rodger.”

Felix Ndebele of Silobela said 10 people  including his brother disappeared in Silobela during Gukurahundi.

He said the soldiers gruesomely killed his father.

Ibhetshu LikaZulu co-ordinator, Mbuso Fuzwayo, told the gathering that Sikhonzaphi Ndebele disappeared around 1983-84 from his home and his whereabouts are still not known.

He also said Albert Khutshwa Nkomo of Senshanke in Nkayi disappeared in 1985.

Fuzwayo said another victim of enforced disappearance was Thembani Ndebele who was an MDC activist.

Ndebele was abducted in 2002, and days later, some Central Intelligence Organisation officers brought a death certificate to the family.

He said the family has not seen his remains to date.

Patrick Nabanyama was abducted in 2000.

He was the campaign agent of opposition politician, David Coltart, at the time. Most of the enforced disappearances are blamed on the State.