Kid­napped ac­tivists dis­ap­pear

Crit­ics of Zim govern­ment miss­ing for 18 years

African Times - - International / Africa - MAR­CUS MUSHONGA

HU­MAN rights groups have de­manded that the Zim­bab­wean govern­ment as­cer­tain the where­abouts of ac­tivists kid­napped and dis­ap­peared dur­ing the bru­tal reign of Robert Mu­gabe.

Some promi­nent govern­ment crit­ics have been miss­ing for 18 years af­ter state se­cu­rity per­son­nel ab­ducted them.

Op­po­si­tion Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change mem­ber, Pa­trick Na­banyana, was kid­napped in 2000. Hu­man rights ad­vo­cate Paul Chizuze has also not been seen since 2012. He was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the killing of thou­sands of civil­ians in the early 1980s. Both were ab­ducted in the sec­ond cap­i­tal Bu­l­awayo.

Last Fri­day marked three years to the dis­ap­pear­ance of jour­nal­ist and hu­man rights cam­paigner, Itai Dza­mara, who was ab­ducted at a barber shop in the cap­i­tal Harare. He was among the most vo­cal voices in de­mands for Mu­gabe to re­sign.

Govern­ment has not com­plied with a High Court or­der to es­tab­lish his where­abouts and up­date his fam­ily and lawyer. “No mean­ing­ful progress has been made to date,” the Zim­babwe Lawyers for Hu­man Rights (ZLHR) stated.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­it­er­ated calls to probe the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the ab­duc­tions and en­sure per­pe­tra­tors are brought to ac­count. Amnesty In­ter­na­tional also called for in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“Dza­mara’s fam­ily and the world need to know that no stone is be­ing left un­turned in the pur­suit of jus­tice for Itai,” re­gional di­rec­tor, De­prose Muchena, said.

Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, while he was Mu­gabe’s deputy, in 2016 pledged govern­ment would in­ves­ti­gate.

Zim­babwe’s his­tory is lit­tered with en­forced dis­ap­pear­ances of govern­ment crit­ics and ac­tivists.

This co­in­cided with calls for Mu­gabe to quit. He even­tu­ally re­signed last Novem­ber af­ter a military takeover. – CAJ News

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