FORCED DISAPPEARANCES HAUNT THE REGIME
The European Union embassy in Zimbabwe aptly summed up the issue of the missing activist Itai Dzamara when they said: “Zimbabwe’s new horizon needs no shadows. Shed light on Itai Dzamara’s fate.”
The government’s failure to account for Dzamara three years after his abduction is a “scar on the conscience” of the nation and there is need for closure on this issue. The police promised to give regular updates on investigations on his whereabouts, but the country has heard little in that regard.
On the other hand, the government has a duty to protect its citizens, thus, it is imperative that the State accounts for Dzamara.
It is spine-chilling that an individual can go missing for three years, without the government being able to account for him.
If Dzamara can go missing for this long, one shudders who could be next. Zimbabweans need assurances that they are safe and will not be victims of enforced disappearances, just like what happened to Dzamara.
In the same vein, there is need for the authorities to account for Paul Chizuze, another activist who went unaccounted for several years ago.
That activists can go missing in such a manner is blood-curdling and the only way the government can assure Zimbabweans is by accounting for these two individuals.
The country’s history is littered with reports of people who disappeared and were never accounted for and if President Emmerson Mnangagwa is to show the world that his administration is different from that of his predecessor, then he must start by accounting for people that disappeared without a trace.
On a political and legal level, the government ought to go above and beyond in letting the nation know what really happened to Dzamara and its efforts in finding him.
On a moral and humane level, Dzamara is a family man, and his children, wife and other relatives, deserve at the very least to know what happened to him.
The family needs closure on this issue and so does the nation, otherwise it shall be a heavy albatross around the neck of Mnangagwa’s administration.
Thus, it is important for Mnangagwa to ensure that investigations into Dzamara’s disappearance are intensified and that he is found.
This will send a message that the era of enforced disappearances is behind us and failure to do that would justify cynics’ views that his administration is nothing but old wine in new casks.