Although Monday marked eight months since the dramatic disappearance of journalist-cum-political activist Itai Dzamara , President Robert Mugabe has remained mum despite public demands and letters written to him by Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch to do something about it.
The two organisations have written to Mugabe calling on him to set up a judge-led commission of inquiry into the disappearance of Dzamara, who was forced into an unmarked vehicle on March 9 this year and has not been heard from since.
This was after he had taken a petition to Mugabe’s offices, asking him to step down on account of his failure to deliver on election promises to create 2,2 million jobs, tackle the country’s perilous economic decline and resultant endemic poverty.
“After he delivered the petition, the trouble started,” said his wife Sheffra in a recent interview with AI. She also spoke of the pain of losing her husband of nine years and called on the international community to pressure Mugabe to act on his disappearance.
“This is very difficult for me. Itai did nothing wrong. Everything he did is allowed in the constitution. He protested peacefully and never destroyed anything. He didn’t even retaliate when they beat him up. He does not like violence,” said Sheffra.
“I would urge everyone out there, and other governments, to help us put pressure on the government to say something about Itai. President Mugabe has not said anything about him.”
Sheffra said that Dzamara’s disappearance has also impoverished the family as he was the breadwinner, adding that “we now rely on donations to be able to afford day-to-day essentials”.