‘Still no leads on disappeared activist’

via ‘Still no leads on disappeared activist’ – DailyNews Live 16 May 2015

HARARE – Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said police are still searching for abducted human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

Ziyambi told senators on Thursday that the police still have no leads on Dzamara’s whereabouts.

“So, the police have been sending appeals to anyone with information, to bring it forward so that the culprits can be brought to book,” Ziyambi said.

“It is an issue that is top most on the priority list of our police officers and they are appealing to anyone.

“The police are not always there when crime is committed because if they were there, they would have immediately arrested the culprits and bring them to book. But, because the police will not be there, they rely on eye witnesses — those who saw the crime being committed.”

Dzamara was abducted two months ago by unidentified men from his Glen View home while having a haircut.

Two days before Dzamara’s abduction, he delivered a speech at an opposition rally in Harare, offering solidarity with the MDC for mass protests against the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe.

“We are in no doubt as to the perpetrators of this abduction,” opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a news conference just after his abduction.

“We hold Mugabe (Robert) and his regime responsible for this morbid and senseless act.

“The President — who is also the AU (African Union) and Sadc chair — cannot preside over a country where innocent citizens get abducted and disappear.”

The United States and European Union have both called on authorities to immediately investigate the disappearance.

“If he is being held in State custody, it is vital that his fundamental human rights and freedoms — as guaranteed by Zimbabwe’s Constitution — be honoured,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

Visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Steven Feldstein said this week a positive review of the sanctions would depend on Harare “giving facts” regarding the missing activist.

“This to us (disappearance of Dzamara) is something that raises significant concerns and we have discussed with the government that they have to conduct a full and transparent investigation,” said the US envoy.

“We have had the allegations and the circumstances of the disappearance and I think it’s important that we have the facts as quickly as we can.

“We do not know what has happened to Mr Dzamara. What we know is that we are concerned when someone who has a common and primary human rights voice, who is representing the civil society in Zimbabwe, all of a sudden, disappears without any real answers.

“Our government takes serious the issue of human rights when it comes to diplomatic relations and development.”

The EU said Zimbabwe’s government should “take all necessary measures to ascertain Dzamara’s whereabouts, safeguard his well-being, and accord him the full protection of the law”.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights successfully filed a habeas corpus application at the High Court ordering senior security officials “ to do all things necessary to determine his whereabouts”.

High Court Justice David Mangota also directed a team of police detectives to work closely with Dzamara’s legal team to search for him.

Meanwhile, Ziyambi said the police are also handling MDC Budiriro legislator Costa Machingauta’s assault case.

“As regards Hon Machingauta, the case was even brought to my attention and we have been working closely with him to try to establish what exactly happened,” Ziyambi said.

“In this case, if you have been talking to him lately he will tell you that he is being attended to. He is very happy with the service that we are giving him,” Ziyambi said.

Machingauta, who is also a national executive member of the Tsvangirai-led party, was allegedly assaulted last month with a sharp object at Budiriro Shopping Centre after being spotted wearing his party’s T-shirt.


  • comment-avatar
    kalulu 7 years ago

    Why dont they ask Cde Chakona of ZANU PF Masvingo Province who seems to know where Ita Dzamara is.

    Can Cde Mutsvagwa also shed light on why people who criticise the government end up disappering when former freedom fighters including cde Mutsvangwa ‘brought power and democracy’ and gave it to the people.

  • comment-avatar
    Tiger Shona 7 years ago

    The only enemy Dzamara had was Zanu PF. And he made no bones about it.
    Zanu PF can deny all they want……the motif tells us that the took him.

  • comment-avatar

    “So, the police have been sending appeals to anyone with information, to bring it forward so that the culprits can be brought to book,” Ziyambi said.

  • comment-avatar

    perhaps the zrp should learn some more advanced investigative techniques — certainly they might try to interview some of the usual suspects that are usually involved in these extra-judicial disappearances that have been a standing feature of zanu pf governance.
    the case of Itai Dzamara will not go away until he is found.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 7 years ago

    What would you expect from Ziyambi, professing ignorance is the prepared response, because Dzamara’s disappearance is a top-level operation.

    R I P Dzamara.