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Zim activist's disappearance 'sends chilling message to Mugabe critics'

30 August 2016, 18:19

Harare - The continued failure by Zimbabwean authorities to account for the whereabouts of pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara is a worrying sign for democracy in the country, Amnesty International has said.

In a statement on Monday, the humanitarian organisation accused President Robert Mugabe's government of failing to launch "an effective investigation into the enforced disappearance" of Dzamara.   

"The authorities must take action to ensure truth and justice are delivered and free the Dzamara family from the agonising uncertainty they have been subjected to since Itai’s disappearance," Amnesty's deputy director for Southern Africa, Tjiurimo Hengari said.

Hengari said Dzamara's disappearance sent out a chilling warning to government critics about the threat to their security.

Dzamara, a journalist, was abducted on March 9 2015 while at a barbershop in Harare. The abduction took place two days after he called for mass action at a rally against the deteriorating state of the Zimbabwean economy.

Reports said that five men stormed the barbershop and accused him of stealing a cow before they bundled him into an unmarked white twin-cab bakkie.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai slammed the abduction, saying that he held Mugabe and his government responsible.

"We hold Mugabe and his regime responsible for this morbid and senseless act," Tswangirai was quoted as saying at the time.

- News 24


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