Harare, April 16, 2015 – A $2 000 reward is being offered for information leading to the location of missing pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara, who disappeared last month near his residential suburb of Glenview.
Dzamara, a 35-year-old human rights activist and freelance journalist was last seen on 9 March at a barber shop in Harare’s Glen Norah high density suburb before he was abducted by some unidentified men who accused him of being a castle rustler.
Expansive searches mounted by his lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have yielded no sign of Dzamara while the Zimbabwe Republic Police has also indicated that it has to date not found any leads as to his whereabouts.
A coalition of civil society organisations on Thursday unveiled the $2 000 reward for “credible information leading to the location of the missing married father of two.
The coalition said anyone with information on Dzamara’s disappearance should alert lawyers from ZLHR on 0779 204 102.
Last week, Dzamara’s lawyers rejected a whitewashed report submitted by the police claiming to be probing the circumstances that led to the abduction of the freelance journalist.
The ZRP had furnished the Registrar of the High Court with a “fortnightly update of investigations” which police officers claimed to have conducted in a bid to locate and determine the whereabouts of the missing Dzamara.
In their one page “report”, the ZRP claimed that law enforcement agents had started a probe to try and locate the human rights activist who has been missing since early March when he was abducted by some unidentified men near his residence in Harare’s Glen Norah suburb.
But ZLHR disputed the contents of the police report and charged that the ZRP had just released the purportedly report into the abduction of the pro-democracy activist in a bid to find a way out of contempt of court proceedings which it had initiated early this month for failing to comply with a High Court order obliging them to report on progress they have made in searching for Dzamara.
Dzamara’s wife Sheffra, recently instituted contempt of court proceedings against Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Central Intelligence Organisation Director-General Happyton Bonyongwe and the State Security Minister seeking an order to imprison them for three months for failing to comply with a High Court order obliging them to report on progress they have made in searching for the missing human rights defender. The contempt of court proceedings, which were filed in the High Court early this month were a follow up to the habeas corpus application filed early last month by human rights lawyers to compel whoever is holding Dzamara to bring him before the court so as to determine if he should really be in detention.
Sheffra wants Mohadi, Chihuri and Bonyongwe to be imprisoned for 90 days for disobeying a lawful court order issued by High Court Judge Justice David Mangota directing them to brief lawyers on progress and cooperate with them in their efforts to conduct the investigations as a team.
In the application for contempt of court Sheffra charged that Mohadi, Chihuri and Bonyongwe were guilty of contempt of court after they intentionally disobeying a court order by not reporting any progress of the search for Dzamara as required of them by Justice Mangota.