Home » Human Rights » Rights Commission Orders Cops to Find Dzamara

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission says it has directed the Police to investigate the circumstances leading to the disappearance of rights activist Itai Dzamara.

Chairperson Elasto Mugwadi announced this Wednesday after being pressed by civil society activists attending a human rights monitoring event which was organized by the US Embassy.

He said they were “not an activist organisation” but had directed the police to investigate the case.

One of the delegates at the event, Kennedy Masiya, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, had challenged commissioner Mugwadi to act on Dzamara’s abduction.

“We appreciate that your commission is faced with financial challenges but we gly feel that putting a statement in the media condemning the abduction of Dzamara will not cost you more than $50.

We are saying so because we have not heard any word from the commission condemning the abduction. You have turned a deaf ear.

“There is also a decomposing body at Chitungwiza hospital of a suspect who was tortured in police cells and the story was picked by a local tabloid again you seem to be turning a deaf ear. Is it that these human rights abuse cases are not reaching your office? asked Masiya.

Mugwadi, who was among the panellists alongside the visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Steven Feldstein, rejected the accusation.

“We must not be mistaken with activists’ organizations and it is not true that we are turning deaf ears on human rights violations.

“The Constitution empowers the Commission to direct the Commissioner General of the Police to institute an investigation when it feels that there are such cases to be investigated and as such in the case of Dzamara we have written to the police instructing them to probe the issue,” Mugwadi responded.

“We have also posted on our website information related to that and that is what we can do with the limited resources which are at our disposal”.

Dzamara was abducted on 9 March in his Harare’s Glen View home area.

Opposition parties claim that he was taken by state security agents.

Prior to his disappearance, the journalist cum-human rights activist had staged peaceful demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government, accusing them of failing to create jobs and turn around the country’s economy.

Rights groups say, since then, the government has done nothing to search and find him despite the existence of a High Court order directing it to do so.

The European Union and the US have also threatened Harare with more sanctions over the Dzamara issue.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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