via President Mugabe speaks | The Herald July 15, 2015
It is the responsibility of investigating arms of Government, not President Mugabe’s, to take a leading role in establishing the whereabouts of journalist-cum MDC-T activist Itai Dzamara, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said yesterday.
Mr Charamba said it was sad that some misguided elements were vainly using the alleged disappearance of Dzamara in a bid to regain political foothold.
Dzamara “disappeared” on March 9 and opposition parties have tried to capitalise on the development, blaming the President and zanu-pf for the alleged abduction.
The European Union and the US have dutifully issued several Press statements threatening that Dzamara’s “disappearance” would further spoil relations with Zimbabwe.
Said Mr Charamba: “I dismiss calls for the President to pronounce himself on the matter as pre-eminently political and thus not worthy of his attention. People go missing here and elsewhere in the world.
“In our case, some skip the borders to go to foreign lands, others get caught up in mishaps and still others might just change location and withdraw from contacts. The fact of the missing persons need not indict sitting Governments the way it is playing out here.”
Mr Charamba said opposition political parties and non-governmental organisations were tainting the image of Government before police pronounced themselves on the matter.
“The script we are getting from those that present to be concerned about a missing citizen is that Government is guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
“It’s a strange sense of justice and there are also claims that Dzamara was an opponent of Government. Dzamara was never an opponent, let alone an enemy, of the Government much as he and his associates, obviously to give profile and consequence to themselves, may have had that as a wish-image.
“What obligates sitting Governments in respect of missing persons is for them to enquire and investigate as to their whereabouts, and this in line with basic international norms and expectations, principally that governments stand in loco parentis to all citizenry.”
Investigating authorities, Mr Charamba said, would make a public report when done with investigations.
“This, the Government of Zimbabwe has, is, will do, albeit without fanfare as is being demanded by persons, parties and interests which seek to feed political fate on the missing person,” he said.
“When it is appropriate, a public report shall be made by the investigating authorities in ways that do not jeopardise investigations, but never for the edification of persons, parties or interests whether local or foreign.”
He added: “It is clear to Government that there is a vain hope to use the missing person for political parties to regain political foothold and mileage and in the case of foreign interests to put Zimbabwe back in the dock.
“It leaves Government wondering whether or not the whole incident is not a politically calculated contrivance. Before long, investigations shall reveal.”
Last Saturday, civil society, opposition parties and church leaders convened a prayer meeting ostensibly in honour of Dzamara.