by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – HUMAN rights groups have demanded that the Zimbabwean government ascertains the whereabouts of activists kidnapped and disappeared during the brutal reign of Robert Mugabe.
Some prominent government critics have been missing for 18 years after
state security personnel abducted them.
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change member, Patrick Nabanyana, was kidnapped in 2000. Human rights advocate Paul Chizuze has also not been seen since 2012. He was investigating the killing of thousands of civilians in the early 1980s.
Both were abducted in the second capital Bulawayo.
Last Friday marked three years to the disappearance of journalist and
human rights campaigner, Itai Dzamara, who was abducted at a barber shop in the capital Harare. He was among the most vocal voices in demands for Mugabe to resign.
Government has not complied with a High Court order to establish his
whereabouts and update his family and lawyer.
“No meaningful progress has been made to date,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) stated.
The organisation reiterated calls to probe the circumstances surrounding
the abductions and ensure perpetrators are brought to account.
Amnesty International also called for investigations.
“Dzamara’s family and the world need to know that no stone is being left
unturned in the pursuit of justice for Itai,” regional director, Deprose
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while he was Mugabe’s deputy, in 2016 pledged government would investigate.
Zimbabwe’s history is littered with enforced disappearances of government critics and activists.
This coincided with calls for Mugabe to quit. He eventually resigned last
November after a military takeover.
– CAJ News