Government must account for missing Itai Dzamara

Source: 9 March 2018Democracy, Human Rights

Heal Zimbabwe is gravely worried over the continued silence by Government over the missing of pro-democracy activist, Itai Dzamara. This is despite promises by Government to investigate and establish the whereabouts of Dzamara.

Heal Zimbabwe would have expected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government to speed up investigations on the whereabouts of Dzamara but till today he remains unaccounted for since 9 March 2015 when he was abducted by five unidentified men while he was at a barber shop in the Glen View suburb of Harare. This is despite the fact that President Mnangagwa made a commitment at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2016 while he was still Vice President to launch a thorough investigation into his disappearance.

The fact that Dzamara continues missing and unaccounted for exposes Government’s insincerity in establishing his whereabouts. Dzamara just like any citizen deserves justice and the fact that he was abducted for democratically expressing his constitutional rights of petitioning and demonstrating is not only deplorable but inhumane. In addition, enforced abductions are illegal and are a violation of human rights freedoms and the Government’s constitutional mandate is to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms. To Heal Zimbabwe, enforced disappearance remain a serious violation of human rights and a crime. Section 53 of the Constitution provides for Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Such fundamental human rights and freedoms are to be enjoyed by every citizen without selective application.

On the occasion of his third anniversary of his enforced disappearance, Heal Zimbabwe implores the Government not to renege on its promise to establish the whereabouts of Dzamara but demonstrate willingness to ascertain the whereabouts of missing activist, Dzamara. Added to this, government must open a commission of enquiry on the whereabouts of Dzamara and ensure that those responsible for his abduction are apprehended. Heal Zimbabwe implores the Government to stop using abductions as a tool to deal with political opponents. Heal Zimbabwe views dialogue as a critical component in solving conflicts and promoting peaceful coexistence amongst communities, thus Heal Zimbabwe calls the Government to use nonviolence mechanisms such as dialogue to address issues raised by its citizens.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe