Dzamara: EU piles pressure on govt

via Dzamara: EU piles pressure on govt – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 10, 2015 by Silence Charumbira

The European Union (EU) yesterday piled more pressure on the government over journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara, who has been missing for three months now.

The bloc said it was increasingly concerned about the lack of progress made by the authorities.

“The EU recalls the legal obligation for the Zimbabwean authorities to provide regular and thorough progress reports on their search for Dzamara, as reminded by the High Court,” it said in a statement.

“The EU once again reiterates its call on the government of Zimbabwe to take all necessary measures to ascertain Dzamara’s whereabouts, safeguard his wellbeing and accord him the full protection of the law, within its overall responsibilities of ensuring the safety of its citizens.”

The EU said it was for the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure that those responsible for the abduction of Dzamara were brought to justice.

The statement said the EU would continue to closely watch the progress as human rights remained a pillar of all their bilateral relationships. A strain in relations between EU and Zimbabwe could also be a major step backwards in light of the sustainable development goals particularly goal number 17 which stipulates the importance of global partnerships at a time Zimbabwe remains alienated from the West and several major powers.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera yesterday said it was very clear that government had not done enough as shown by its failure to adhere to a court order to give constant updates on Dzamara.

“For the EU, they had indicated that they are willing to re-engage especially in light of the fact that they have provided $250 million aid and that funding demonstrated their willingness,” he said.

“They would have wanted to see a significant improvement, but the issue of Dzamara is a major step back yet it is a fundamental question in their spirit of re-engagement.”

Mangongera said among the topical issues under the re-engagement were health, the economy and democracy in which the disappearance of Dzamara falls.

“It has the potential to actually strain relations between Harare and Brussels, the government has an obligation to give updates,” he said.

Ibbo Mandaza, chairman for Sapes Trust, a local think-tank, blamed the local media for taking a back seat by leaving the Dzamara agenda to be driven by European countries.

“What happened to Dzamara can happen to anyone of you any day. The media was supposed to make a lot of noise to push government to explain Dzamara’s whereabouts,” Mandaza said.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday said government’s attitude towards the issue had remained disappointingly casual.

“The High Court order, in typical Zanu PF fashion, has been flagrantly ignored. As the MDC, we call upon the Zanu PF regime to take all the necessary measures that will secure the safe release of Itai Dzamara by his captors,” he said.