Human Lives Human Rights: The failure of Zimbabwean authorities to account for Itai Dzamara, eight years after he was last seen, speaks volumes about the lack of political will to account for him.
The continued failure of Zimbabwe’s authorities to launch an effective investigation into Dzamara’s disappearance is a travesty of justice and that it sends a chilling message about the security of others who demand accountability from the government.
The world and Itai Dzamara’s family want truth and justice for his disappearance. His family also want to be freed from the agonizing uncertainty they have been subjected to since his disappearance.
Today, we join Itai’s family in calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to conduct a thorough, independent, effective, and transparent investigation into Itai Dzamara’s disappearance.
The world and Itai Dzamara’s family want truth and justice for his disappearance
Since his disappearance, no meaningful investigation has taken place and his whereabouts remain unknown. We need to see an inquiry with findings that are made public, and suspected perpetrators brought to justice.
Authorities must conduct a thorough, independent, effective, and transparent investigation into Itai Dzamara’s disappearance
We call on the authorities that the findings of any inquiry must be made public and those suspected should be brought to justice.
Itai Dzamara was abducted on 9 March 2015 by five men while he was at a barber shop in Harare’s Glen View suburb.
His abductors are said to have accused him of stealing cattle before handcuffing him, forcing him into a white truck with concealed number plates, and driving off.
He has not been seen since then and rights groups believe he is a victim of enforced disappearance.
It is worth to mention that prior to his abduction, he had called for former President Robert Mugabe to step down and criticized his handling of Zimbabwe’s economy.
On Saturday 7 March 2015, before his abduction, he had addressed a rally in the capital Harare where he called for mass action to address the deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe. He had previously been targeted by state security agents, beaten, abducted, and unlawfully detained.
Late president Robert Mugabe had been in power for almost four decades until he was removed from office in 2017 by the ruling ZANU-PF with the help of the army.
In 2016, then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva that the government was actively pursuing the search for Itai.
However, the government has failed to give regular updates on the search efforts for the activist, despite a court order issued in 2016 instructing it to do so.