Growing concern over fate of abducted activist Itai Dzamara

By Lance Guma

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HARARE – Journalist turned activist Itai Dzamara is still missing nearly 48 hours after being abducted by suspected state security agents on Monday.

File Picture: Itai Dzamara (left) and a fellow activist (right) being arrested at the Occupy Africa Unity Square demo last year
File Picture: Itai Dzamara (left) and a fellow activist (right) being arrested at the Occupy Africa Unity Square demo last year

Despite swirling rumours on Tuesday that a body had been found near the Goromonzi turn-off, Dzamara’s brother, Patson issued the following statement;

“I am receiving several enquiries about the whereabouts of my brother Itai Dzamara and the reports that he has passed on. Nothing has reached us yet. No official communication has reached us yet. If anyone has information let us know.”

Dzamara’s wife meanwhile spoke to the independent VOA Studio 7 on Tuesday and demanded that the Mugabe regime “bring back my husband in one piece”.

The ‘Occupy Africa Unity Square’ protest leader was abducted from a barbershop in his neighbourhood by five men who forcibly shoved him into a white isuzu twincab.

Fellow activist Charles Nyoni, who is the secretary general of the “Occupy Africa Unity Square” movement, says the men approached Dzamara and accused him of stealing a cow before they grabbed him. Nyoni said efforts to locate him were proving futile as the police were professing ignorance over the issue.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai seen here with Itai Dzamara last month after a meeting
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai seen here with Itai Dzamara last month after a meeting

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai convened an urgent press conference in Harare where he expressed outrage at Dzamara’s abduction.

“Today is supposed to be my birthday and I never budgeted that on what was supposed to be my day of joy, I could end up talking about a morbid abduction and disappearance of an innocent citizen,” the MDC leader said.

“To the MDC family, his abduction and disappearance comes as a shock because at our rally at Zimbabwe Grounds on Saturday, he gave a solidarity speech in which he supported our call for action and protests against the deteriorating situation in the country.

“We are in no doubt as to the perpetrators of this abduction. We hold Mugabe and his regime responsible for this morbid and senseless act. The President, who is also AU and SADC chair, cannot preside over a country where innocent citizens get abducted and disappear,” Tsvangirai added.

In October last year Dzamara was arrested after he called on Mugabe to step down in a petition that was delivered to the presidential Munhumutapa Offices. Africa Unity Square is a few blocks away from Mugabe’s offices. Since then he has been arrested, assaulted and tortured several times for his ongoing protest.

Itai Dzamara lies motionless on the ground after being savagely beaten last year
Itai Dzamara lies motionless on the ground after being savagely beaten last year

In November Dzamara was admitted to a Harare hospital alongside human rights lawyer Kennedy Masiye after both sustained serious injuries from brutal assaults by more than 20 police officers who disrupted their protest.

Last month Nehanda Radio had the privilege of interviewing Dzamara and asked him how he would like to be remembered: Below was his answer:

“For having made a contribution – to the best of my ability, genuinely and sincerely – towards the creation of a better Zimbabwe. Where people enjoy their freedoms and with dignity. Where leaders are accountable and answerable to the people. where the resources and wealth benefit and uplift the lives of all.

“Where elections are fair and credible contests of ideas and policies. Lastly, a Zimbabwe that coexists and competes with the rest of the world, favourably, viably and in harmony.”

Interview: Itai Dzamara taking on Mugabe
Brothers: Author Patson Dzamara and Itai Dzamara
Brothers: Author Patson Dzamara and Itai Dzamara

Dzamara’s abduction bears similar hallmarks to the 2007 abduction and subsequent murder of former ZBC cameramen Edward Chikomba who was abducted near his home in the capital, Harare, by a group of armed men in a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Chikomba was found dead two days later near the industrial farming area of Darwendale, 80 kilometers west of Harare.

Chikomba was beaten to death, with sources close to his family suspecting he was blamed for leaking to the foreign media, footage of badly beaten opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who had just been released from police custody.

Dzamara’s friends, relatives, fellow activists and peace loving Zimbabweans will no doubt be hoping for a different outcome.

To contact this journalist email [email protected] or Whatsapp +44-777-855-7615

  • Anyone concerned about Itai Dzamara’s safe return feel free to contact the people outlined below and demand that he be returned forthwith!

    ZANU-PF Information Tel: +263 4 753329-753145

    Fax: +263 4 774146

    Police commissioner Augustine Chihuri +263 04/ 250008 – 792621 – 700171

    Cellphone; +263712418098

    Former Vampire ABDUCTIONS COORDINATOR Didymus Mutasa +263 11 200532-774189

    Personal Mobile: +263 11 876 015

    Patrick Chinamasa: +263 4 777054 – 774620 – 774620

    Mobile: +263 11 605 523

    Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi +263 11 605424/ 430422/ 794628 Fax +263 4 707231

    Cellphone + 263 11 605424

    Abusive police officer Mhondoro +263 11 513 364



    BULAWAYO AREA: – (from abroad: + 00 263 9 + the local number)

    Bulawayo Central: +263 9 72515 – 61706

    Mzilikazi: +263 9 202908 – 212905 OR +263 9 74439 – 62908

    Hillside: +263 9241161

    Donnington +263 9 474005 – 467309

    Queens Park: +263 9 226212 – 226411

    Sauerstown: +263 9 200960 – 218431 – 218432

    Luveve +263 9 520801/2/3

    Tshabalala +263 9 496755

    Donnington: +263 9 474005/4673309

    Barbourfields +263 9 74095

    Filabusi Police Station +263 17 202 281 or 247 9 72515 / 61706

    Figtree Police Station +263 83 216 ??????

    HARARE AREA: – (from abroad: + 00 263 4 + the local number)

    General HQ +263 4 700171

    Harare Central +263 4l 733033 – 721212 -736931-725903-777777

    Airport + 263 4 575366

    Avondale + 263 4 336632

    Borrowdale +263 4 860067- 860061- 883152

    Braeside +263 4 742261-742260-742383- 743020- 743006-742259

    Glen View +263 4 690049

    Hatfield +263 4 570506- 570123- 570138

    Highlands +263 4 495304- 495504 – 495340

    Kuwadzana +263 4 665511

    Mabelreign +263 4 336000- 339075

    Marlborough +263 4 336647- 301801/2

    Mbare +263 4 706401

    Monavale +263 4 336613

    Rhodesville +263 4 495753- 481111- 496567- 496568

    Southerton +263 4 668438 – 667032 – 667012

    Warren Park +263 4 223921-229990 – 229991 – 229992

    Waterfalls +263 4 662626/7

    Other Areas

    Chitungwiza + 263 70 22001 Hwange +263 81 36491

    Masavingo Central + 263 39 62221 Fax: Masvingo Police Enqs. +263 39 64026.

    Masvingo +263 39 64911

    Chikato +263 39 62308

    Gweru + 263 54 2477 Chinhoyi + 263 67 22299

    Bindura +263 71 9933 Marondera +263 79 23500

    Mutare +263 20 63380 Gwanda +263 84 2911-

    • gogosesikhona

      Dr, I am beginning to like. You have indeed carried out your research. If only all of us can start harassing these people 24/7 none stop, with phone calls.

  • mahumbwe

    So sad at this age in time people are still disappearing. What we have is devils who can’t help themselves but do what they know best. Intimidation Domination and Killing

  • Machena

    Am not happy about this.

  • gina warova

    you know the problem with our opposition party is they believe in mob psychology mass action and protest….calling mugabe to go thats unconstitutional, we are always reactive guys the only way to push this government off seat is thru elections…we better die calling for fair elections than trying to react after loosing seriously there, we will dissapear

    • king midas

      how many times have we tried that, if i may ask?

    • gogosesikhona

      Your idea is a none starter.

  • occupyzim