via Dzamara rally to ratchet pressure – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 9, 2015 by Everson Mushava
FIRED top Zanu PF officials are set to join opposition parties, churches and civic society organisations next week at a prayer meeting for missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara as pressure mounts on the government to solve the puzzle surrounding his disappearance.
Dzamara’s disappeared in March 9 without trace and the government has come under mounting pressure to find him.
The former journalist was allegedly abducted by suspected State security agents near his home in Glen View suburb, Harare, shortly after he held a series of solo demonstrations in Harare’s Africa Unity Square calling for President Robert Mugabe’s resignation.
Organisers of the prayer rally declined to be named, but posted messages on WhatsApp advising all civic groups and opposition parties to be at the Zimbabwe Grounds on June 14 for the event.
Former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and the ex-ruling party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo were listed among those likely to attend the event.
“June 14, 2015 will mark 100 days without knowing the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara after his abduction by Mugabe’s rabid agents,” the statement read.
“Zimbabweans have been expecting to have him released by those who did this heinous act.
“Churches and civic society organisations have calendared 14 June as the day when tens of thousands of Zimbabweans will gather for the Bring Back Itai Dzamara prayer rally.
However, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was unaware of the event
Other leaders expected to attend are MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, National Constitution Assemply leader Lovemore Madhuku, Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile and Zapu leaders Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa respectively.
Also expected to attended are diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, church leaders and civil society organisations, the statement said.
MDC-T spokesperson Obet Gutu confirmed that his party would participate.
“We are aware of that and we will be an integral part of the prayer to say that he should be brought back,” he said.
“It is an event we can confirm that we aware of. I cannot say who is organising it, but I can only say similar-minded Zimbabweans in politics, civil society and churches are behind it.”
“We cannot pretend that everything is normal when one of us is missing.”
Madhuku said he was not sure who was organising the event, but he would attend.
“We were invited and we agreed to participate to show solidarity with all those calling on government to solve the Dzamara puzzle,” he said. “We agreed to participate.”
Gumbo also confirmed that he had been invited together with Mutasa.
“Cde Mutasa said he would attend, but as for me, I have not yet checked with my schedule to find out if I will be available for the event,” he said. “Chances are that I will attend depending on my schedule.”
Makoni said he was not aware of the meeting as he was out of Harare drumming up support for his candidates ahead of tomorrow’s by-elections.
“I don’t know, I haven’t seen the letter. I don’t know it, maybe it has been sent to my office and I will only be able to know by Wednesday (tomorrow) morning when I will be back in Harare,” he said.
“Right now, I am in Mutare and have been moving around preparing for the Wednesday by-elections.”
Dabengwa was unreachable for comment yesterday.