Five years on – Where is Itai Dzamara?

By Upenyu Chaota

He is said to have been abducted by unknown assailants believed to be state security agents on March 9, 2015 and since then no one has ever seen or heard from him.

He stood up to the brutal former President Robert Mugabe calling for his resignation even when it was not fashionable to do so.

What happened that day to Itai Dzamara remains a riddle, wrapped in mystery inside an enigma. The family of Dzamara and his friends have all been left with more questions than answers as the government has not done enough to find the missing journalist cum political activist.

The Mugabe regime denied having a hand in the abduction of Dzamara with some government officials claiming that Dzamara was hiding somewhere enjoying his life.

For his wife and children, their hope is that the husband and father would one day walk through the door.

For the world, everyone is asking, Where is Dzamara? What happened to him? Is he dead? Who is responsible? Will he ever be found?

Five years on, the questions keep mounting and the hope of finding him keep fading.

When President Mnangagwa took over from his predecessor Mugabe, he was pressured for answers on the whereabouts of Dzamara and the country witnessed on the national broadcaster an announcement from the police appealing to members of the public for any information leading to the solving of the case.

That was the only effort made under the ‘new dispensation’ and since then the case has been filed in a very dark cabinet where it is gathering dust.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that the government has to come clean and tell the country what happened to Dzamara because he is the citizen of this country.

“Dzamara deserves justice. He is the citizen of his country and we deserve to know what happened to him.

“He was abducted and the state denies involvement but we are alarmed with the level of negligence on their part.

“They have not committed enough resources into finding him and we wonder if this will be the approach that will be taken if any countrymen goes missing,” said ZLHR spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda.

He said that the government is responsible for taking care and guaranteeing the safety of every Zimbabwean but it has failed to do so.

“We should all feel safe in our country but if people just disappear to never be found again it is very worrying. The government should move mountains to find Dzamara so that this brings closure to the family and friends.

“He had a family and they all want him to come home. He was the bread winner which means his abduction spelled doom on them. The country deserves answers.

“If the government had no hand in the disappearance then they have to prove it. No person can just disappear like that,” said Mafunda.