THE Dzamara family has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa, demanding that he launches an “urgent” and “sincere” investigation into the case of missing Itai and account for his disappearance. The petition was handed over by missing journalist’s brother Patson on Wednesday and was received by an officer who identified himself as Dube at Mnangagwa’s office.
Itai was abducted in Glen View almost two and half years ago after he had staged a series of demonstrations against the former president Robert Mugabe calling on him to step down accusing him of running down the country. Patson said he was asking Mnangagwa to act because of the indifference of the former government in which he (Mnangagwa) was vice president and Justice Minister.
“To date, nothing has been done to assist us as a family to at least come to a closure. Even though Itai Dzamara openly opposed the former government and some of its policies, his security and right to life remains a direct and unquestionable responsibility of the government,” said Patson to New Zimbabwe.
He added, “Ever since Itai Dzamara’s disappearance a lot has transpired and various theories have been promulgated. However and in spite of that, I am of the view that by now some headway should have been made if everyone involved and concerned acted in good faith, especially the government through the responsible ministries.”
He said their position regarding the involvement of state security agents particularly the military intelligence in the abduction of Itai Dzamara has not changed.
“As you might be aware, Sir, Itai Dzamara petitioned your predecessor, Mr. Mugabe to step down for failing to run the country well. Unfortunately, since that day receiving threats on his life from security agents became the norm and he was subjected to serious torture at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other private sources within your Zanu PF political party.”
Patson added, “He (Itai) was beaten, arrested and received death threats by state security agents several times even though his activities were well within his Constitutional rights.”
“We may not agree on many other things but we have to agree on this one thing, a human being cannot disappear just like that. I am thoroughly convinced, Sir, that with your assistance and that of your government, in good faith, we can make some headway on this matter, Itai Dzamara must be released to us, his family, dead or alive.”
Patson further said as the President of Zimbabwe sworn to protect every citizen, Mnangagwa should immediately issue a statement over Itai’s disappearance.
“That as the Head of State and government you order whoever is keeping Itai Dzamara in captivity to release him immediately, dead or alive. That as the Head of State and Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces make a commitment and public announcement that the state security agents shall intensify their efforts in uncovering the mystery surrounding Itai Dzamara’s disappearance and make sure he is released immediately, dead or alive.
And, “That as the President of Zimbabwe and a concerned leader, you should ensure that your government, through the responsible ministries, engages the Dzamara family and walks with us through this austere experience. Itai Dzamara’s disappearance cannot be treated as not being important.”
Patson said in the event that Mngangagwa chose to ignore the family’s demands and request, he shall engage all progressive Zimbabweans within a week and protest in various ways in a civil, peaceful and resolute manner as provided for within the Constitution.