Zimbabwe Government Accused of Hindering Investigation into Missing Activist Itai Dzamara

March 8, 2024
| Report Focus News

Amnesty International has raised concerns over the Zimbabwean government’s alleged obstruction in resolving the case of Itai Dzamara, a journalist and pro-democracy advocate who vanished under mysterious circumstances nearly a decade ago. Dzamara disappeared on March 9, 2015, after being forcibly taken by unidentified individuals in Harare’s Glen View area, leaving his fate unresolved to this day.

According to Vongai Chikwanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, the government’s sluggish response to Dzamara’s case undermines justice and signals a growing threat to activists demanding accountability. “Nine years on, the lack of a thorough investigation into Dzamara’s disappearance by the Zimbabwean authorities conveys a disturbing message that activists are no longer safe,” Chikwanda stated.

Despite promises from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to reexamine the case following his rise to power in 2017, Dzamara’s disappearance remains an unsolved case, fostering a climate of fear and insecurity among his family, friends, and the wider civil society. Dzamara was known for his bold solo protests against former President Robert Mugabe’s regime, demanding Mugabe’s resignation.

Chikwanda has called for the establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry, led by a judge, to investigate Dzamara’s abduction comprehensively. This commission should have the authority to summon witnesses and allow public submissions, ensuring the protection and safety of those who come forward. Amnesty International insists on transparency in the inquiry’s findings and demands that those potentially criminally responsible be held accountable through fair trials.

The unresolved disappearance of Itai Dzamara continues to leave his loved ones in anguish and underscores the challenges faced by those in Zimbabwe striving for democracy and transparency.