HARARE – Zimbabwe’s High Court has ordered Home Affairs Minister, State Security Minister, Police Commissioner-General and Central Intelligence Organisation Director-General to mount a search for missing freelance journalist and pro-democracy activist, Itai Dzamara.
High Court Judge Justice David Mangota sat in the chambers today to preside over an urgent habeas corpus application to compel whoever is holding Dzamara to bring him before the court so as to determine if he should really be in detention.
Dzamara’s wife Sheffra filed the application on Tuesday 10 March 2015 on behalf of her husband through her lawyer Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Right.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, Itai’s brother Patson said the judge said it was the responsibility of the state to safeguard the safety of its citizens.
“The state was ordered to account and intensify the search for Itai using state resources because the judge noted that it is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens,” said Patson Dzamara.
The lawyers said in the event that the respondents deny knowledge of Dzamara’s whereabouts, the High Court should order them to do all things necessary to determine his whereabouts including advertising within 12 hours of the granting of the court order on all State media including all radio stations, ZTV, The Herald and The Chronicle newspapers.
The lawyers also want the High Court to order the respondents to dispatch a team of police detectives to work closely and in conjunction with Dzamara’s legal practitioners to search for the freelance journalist at all holding cells and centres for the Central Intelligence Organisation and the military police and to report progress of such search to the Registrar of the High Court by 1000 hours on each day until his whereabouts have been determined.