Human rights activists seek to meet Presidium over Dzamara

via Human rights activists seek to meet Presidium over Dzamara – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 10, 2016

SCORES of activists yesterday converged at Africa Unity Square to pray for missing journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara, who has been missing for the past 11 months.


Zimbabwe Divine Destiny leader Bishop Ancelimo Magaya said they were eager to meet President Robert Mugabe or his two deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, over Dzamara’s disappearance

“We should be able to mobilise and build critical mass within the church to make sure that people become more conscious that it is not only about preaching the gospel on Sunday. We are going to mobilise pastors and train them to articulate the issue,” Magaya said in an interview on the sidelines of the prayer meeting.

“Eleven months after Itai Dzamara was abducted, his whereabouts are still unknown and there is no remorse on the part of President Mugabe and his top leadership.”

He added: “There is no indication that they do regret and lament the fact that under their leadership people still disappear. They are the custodians of the Constitution and we are very sad to say that.”

Magaya said they had since written to Mnangagwa to seek audience with the Presidency.

Dzamara was abducted on March 9 last year by suspected State security agents and his whereabouts have remained a mystery.

Family spokesperson Patson Dzamara said they regarded Dzamara as a hero who should be celebrated.

“He is an idea or represented an idea whose time had come. We have never even cowered from our position on who is responsible,” Patson said.

“We bump into a lot of theories which are meant to divert attention, but we maintain this is the doing of Zanu PF and the security agents. We continue insisting that they are responsible and they must be accountable as far as the disappearance of Itai is concerned.”

He said the family had not got anything from police whom they view as primary suspects.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said: “Those responsible for ‘disappearing’ Itai have committed a serious crime under international law. It is pertinent to note that in Zimbabwe it is not only Itai who has disappeared, but also other citizens, among them Paul Chizuze and Patrick Nabanyama, have been missing for several years without being accounted for.”

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said the Dzamara issue had from the start, shown government’s disregard of citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms as evidenced by his brutal assault by police during his Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign when he staged a series of peaceful protests calling on Mugabe to resign for having failed the economy.

“It is evident, from sentiments coming from the State media, that the State has chosen to classify Dzamara as an ‘agent of regime change’ or some other unruly element unworthy of any form of attention yet his family continues to grieve in the absence of their breadwinner,” CiZC said.