via ‘We don’t know what happened to Dzamara’ – DailyNews Live 25 August 2015
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s government insists it still has “no answers” on what happened to an activist who has been missing since March, fending off accusations the authorities masterminded his disappearance.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed State security agents were looking for former journalist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted from a barber shop in Harare’s Glen View suburb on March 9, and has not been seen since
Mnangagwa told ruling party officials: “Both the police and the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) are all out to try and find out what happened. Every single citizen must be protected by the state.”
His comments came in the wake of mounting pressure from activists and opposition critics for the authorities to reveal what happened to Dzamara, who had been leading a one-man protest in central Harare calling for the long-time president to stand down.
Mnangagwa spoke as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressed a prayer meeting in Zvishavane last weekend calling for the return of the activist after addressing a similar prayer meeting in Chitungwiza a week earlier.
Mnangagwa said: “Vanonamata ngavanamate havo, vanoshopera vachishopera.” (Do everything possible.)
Human rights groups from across the Sadc region last week called on Mugabe, 91, to step up efforts to find the former journalist.
Meanwhile, a senior opposition official has said he believed Dzamara was likely abducted by military intelligence officers and murdered soon afterwards.
In a recent post to his website, Eddie Cross of the Movement for the Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Tsvangirai said that Dzamara’s abduction “did not come as a surprise”.
“Itai had become well known for his one-man campaign to call for change in Zimbabwe, and in my view he was viewed by the regime as dangerous in that what he was doing could inspire a popular uprising against the State,” he said.
But the State broadcaster ZBC said on Saturday: “Some political parties are unscrupulously trying to use the disappearance of Dzamara for their gains and Cde Mnangagwa says it is wrong to do so.”