Local human rights groups have called on government to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safe return of missing journalist-cum-human rights defender, Itai Dzamara who went missing six years ago and he has never been found to this day.
Addressing the media on the sixth anniversary since the disappearance of Dzamara on 9 March 2015, the groups namely Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Amnesty International, Zimbabwe Devine Destiny and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the generality of Zimbabweans deserve answers on what happened to the Occupy Africa Unity Square movement founder.
“We call on the government to mobilise the full extent of its resources to investigate the circumstances surrounding Dzamara’s abduction and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Dzamara’s family and the generality of Zimbabweans deserve answers on where he is, what happened on 9 March 2015 and who is responsible for his disappearance.
“We remind the Government of Zimbabwe of its constitutional obligations to safeguard the right to life and personal liberty, the right to participate in peaceful political activities, the right to demonstrate and petition peacefully and the citizens’ right to express themselves freely and without repercussion. We call on the government to show its commitment to protecting the constitutionally-guaranteed human rights of all Zimbabweans, regardless of political beliefs or affiliation,” said the human right group.
Dzamara, last seen on 9 March 2015 was reportedly abducted by five unidentified men from a barbershop in Harare’s Glenview suburb with the men reportedly handcuffing him before taking him away in a white pick-up truck with blurred registration number plates.
Despite widespread calls for investigations into the abduction, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has over the years remained reluctant and uninterested in diligently looking into the matter.
The groups also blamed the new dispensation for infringing the rights of the people citing the abduction of a Tawanda Muchehiwa on 30 July 2020 and many other activists who continue to be arrested and detained for exercising their freedoms of speech and assembly.