#Journalismisnotacrime Africa Human Rights Violations President Mugabe Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe government does not care for abducted journalist and Human Rights activist Itai Dzamara

By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe government Minister for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo today displayed party partisanship when dealing with the disappearance of journalist and political activist Itai Dzamara.

Responding to questions on social media Professor Moyo said ,”Only Morgan Tsvangirai has spoken like he knows what happened.He should update those who want to know and assist the police..” This comment drew a lot of criticism from Zimbabweans and journalist alike . In response someone called Minister Moyo ,”an emotional vampire…”. The Nutty Professor as he is known in media cirles went further to dismiss Dzamara’s abduction as no issue to Zanu PF and the government because ,”..our information is he is a former journalist who is now a political activist…”

On 10th March 2015 MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai issued a statement blaming Zanu PF and government for the abduction and disappearance of Itai Dzamara. Dzamara on 8th March 2015 addressed a massively attended rally in Harare in which he aligned his organisation Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) to MDC-T. It is believed that it was that speech that riled figures within Zanu PF hence his abduction.

In response former Zimbabwe Financial Gazette Editor Chofamba Sithole among others, accused the Minister of only caring for state media journalists who at times manage the Minister’s social media accounts. In reference was Editor of The Sunday Mail Edmund Kudzayi and Editor of The Herald Ceasar Zvayi.Kudzayi is accused of setting up Facebook accounts for the Minister while the allegation on Zvayi was not substantiated.

Itai Dzamara was reported missing on Tuesday 10 March 2015 after being abducted in Harare on Monday 9th March 2015. Reports suggest that he was picked up by five men who where driving a white 4 x 4 truck.No report of his whereabouts has been received by his family of those within his Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) protest movement.

 

Journalist Itai Dzamara
Journalist turned activist Itai Dzamara

The organisation has released a statement as follows :

On Monday at around 10am, Itai Dzamara was abducted from a barber’s shop in his neighbourhood by five (5) men, who handcuffed him and accused him of stock theft. They had been noticed driving around his neighbourhood in two vehicles:

A white truck, possibly an Isuzu, with the license plate AAM 1732.A white Nissan hard-body (twincab) with license plate starting with ABB 2.Itai was wearing black shorts, a white and red top, blue and brown sandals and was half-shaved.

A report has been filed at his local police station and on the basis of that, the lawyers for the Dzamara family have filed an urgent High Court application for the State to produce Itai Dzamara. If he stand accused of anything, he has the right to a lawyer and to defend himself in court. If there is no accusation, they have no right to detain him.

In light of this, we continue to demand that whoever has Itai Dzamara return him unharmed. We call on the State in the form of the Police and other security agencies to swiftly determine where Itai is being held, by whom, and to secure his release.

Lastly, there have been rumours circulating that have little or no basis in truth. The first was that some of Itai’s colleagues may have had a hand in his disappearance.

It is highly unlikely that any of our partners, who have been fighting by our sides and running risks along with us, would so easily throw away the gains of the struggle. We have no reason to doubt their loyalty to the cause for a better Zimbabwe. Therefore we dismiss those allegations until and unless proof is offered.

Secondly, there had been a report that there has been a body found at the Goromonzi turn-off. We dispatched a team there today to investigate in person.

After questioning people in the area as well as the Goromonzi and Ruwa police, we established that no body had been found there at all, and as such the report is simply an unsubstantiated rumour which has turned out to be false.

We have no reason not to believe Itai Dzamara is alive in captivity, and continue to demand his release.

Dzamara’s abduction has the potential to damage the freshly repaired relations with major lenders and international community . EU, USA and other foreign missions have released statements calling for the release of Dzamara. Delegation of the European Union expressed concern at the disappearance of Dzamara.

USA Embassy in Harare issued a statement:

We urge the relevant authorities to demonstrate their professionalism by fully investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr. Dzamara’s abduction. 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 honored

 

 

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