Zimbabwe journalist missing nine years after abduction


Itai Dzama - where is he?

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – AHEAD of the ninth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of a journalist who was also a pro-democracy activist, Zimbabwean authorities are accused of impeding the delivery of justice, truth and reparations.

Itai Dzamara was abducted on March 9, 2015 by five men while he was at a barber shop in Harare’s Glen View suburb.

“Their (authorities’) failure to launch an effective investigation into Dzamara’s disappearance sends the chilling message that activists seeking to demand accountability from the government are no longer safe,” said Vongai Chikwanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

The activist said Dzamara’s family and friends had endured painful years waiting for truth and justice over his enforced disappearance.

“His family needs closure from the agonizing uncertainty they have been subjected to. The feeling of insecurity and fear that his disappearance has generated is not limited to his close relatives, but also affects the broader civil society community,” Chikwanda said.

Amnesty International reiterated a call for the government to set up an independent, judge-led Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Dzamara’s abduction, with powers to subpoena witnesses.

“The findings must be made public and those suspected of criminal responsibility should be brought to justice in fair trials,” Chikwanda said.

Two days before his abduction, Dzamara addressed a rally in Harare where he called for mass action to address the deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe and for the then President Robert Mugabe to step down.

The activist had previously been beaten, abducted, and unlawfully detained by state security agents.

His case is one of many in Zimbabwe’s long history of abductions and enforced disappearances that the authorities are yet to investigate.

– CAJ News

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