Itai Dzamara abduction rocks parliament

HARARE – Parliament was today rocked as opposition legislators wanted the minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi to assure the nation that the abducted activist and president Robert Mugabe critic, Itai Dzamara is safe.

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

Chaos rocked the parliament as MPs demanded to know the whereabouts of Dzamara as well as an assurance that all is well with the activist.

This also comes at a time when the international community led by the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe and the United States of America (US) embassy issued statements expressing concerns over the disappearance of Dzamara.

“The EU Delegation expresses its deep concern regarding the abduction on 9 March of human rights defender and leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square, Itai Dzamara.

The EU counts on the Government of Zimbabwe to take all necessary measures to ascertain Mr Dzamara’s whereabouts, safeguard his wellbeing and accord him the full protection of the law, within its overall responsibilities of ensuring the safety of all its citizens,’ read the statement which the Embassies of Norway and Switzerland associate themselves with.

In another statement the US embassy called for the authorities to fully investigate the disappearance of Dzamara.

“The U.S. Embassy notes with grave concern the reports of the forced disappearance of civil society activist Itai Dzamara on March 9, 2015. We support Mr. Dzamara’s right to freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully.”

“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 honoured,” the statement reads.

On Monday at around 10am, 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 stands 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.