Former president Robert Mugabe has professed ignorance about the abduction and disappearance of activist, Itai Dzamara.
Dzamara was getting a haircut at a barbershop in the working class suburb of Glen View in Harare on March 9, 2015, when five armed men seized him, shoved him into an unmarked truck and sped off.
He hasn’t been seen since.
Dzamara, then 35, was a journalist and opposition supporter who spearheaded a pro-democracy movement called “Occupy Africa Unity Square” that was demanding then long-standing president Mugabe to resign.
Responding to a question by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesperson and journalist Kumbirai Mafunda during a surprise presser convened at his Borrowdale residence on Sunday, the former Zimbabwean head of state said Dzamara’s case also worries him but was not aware of the activist’s whereabouts.
“Oh that character, Itai Dzamara, I did not know who he was and if we can get factual information on who did it, who took him away?
“I do not know if the people we are asking to find him are actually the ones who took him and I wonder why in respect of him nothing seems to come out. What harm did he do? I cannot see the harm that he had done.”
Patson Dzamara, the brother of Itai, has fumed at Mugabe’s ignorance.
He insisted that the country’s feared military intelligence was responsible for the missing social justice campaigner’s brazen abduction.
“First and foremost, we have never minced our words regarding who the perpetrators of this heinous act are. Itai’s abduction was masterminded by the military intelligence under the oversight of Zanu PF,” Dzamara said, adding:
“I was surprised to learn that Mugabe did not know about Itai. It was shocking to hear him say that…despite that we have tried to engage (him) more than five times as a family. There was so much noise made about Itai Dzamara such that it could not have escaped his attention. I actually demonstrated in his presence at National Sports Stadium,” he said.
Both Patson and Mugabe, though, agree on the need for an urgent inquiry into Dzamara’s disappearance.
“I concur with him that an enquiry must be set up for this issue to be resolved. Going forward it is also pertinent to understand the context this thing happened.
“From the onset I have categorically stated that the abduction was masterminded and executed by the military intelligence and that is actually a statement of fact,” he said.