Itai Dzamara can now be declared dead, but……Biti says


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A person who has been missing for two years and has not been found can be declared dead but an application has to be made and then advertised in the Government Gazette, lawyer and opposition legislator Tendai Biti told Parliament on Thursday.

He had been asked by Speaker Jacob Mudenda whether the law said a person who had not been found for 15 or 10 years could be presumed dead.

“It is much less Mr. Speaker Sir. It is two years,” Biti responded.  “The duration is not of much importance but the circumstances. An application is made and then it is advertised in the Government Gazette. The idea being that if he is alive or at a small house, they will say he is there. That process needs to be done but it is quite problematic especially in Matabeleland.”

Mudenda asked Biti for clarification after another opposition leader, Willas Madzimure, asked for the closure of the Itai Dzamara case.  Dzamara disappeared more than seven years ago and has not been found.

Madzimure said the matter must now be brought to closure because the family is not sure where the whole matter is. It will be better if he is declared dead so that they do the rituals and the matter is put to rest. 

Full contribution:

HON. MADZIMURE: It is very small. I just want to remind the Minister of Home Affairs because he promised to bring the Ministerial Statement regarding how they have concluded the investigations on the disappearance of Itai Dzamara. The matter must be brought to closure because the family is not sure where the whole matter is and it will be better if he is declared dead so that they do the rituals and the matter is put to rest. The Minister promised long back and I even asked this past month for him to come and give a Ministerial Statement but this has not been done. Could the Minister be reminded to bring that Ministerial Statement because it is important for the family to know where the State is now and if he is dead, then he is declared dead?

THE HON SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, just refresh my memory. A person that has been unfound, say for15 or 10 years, is it correct to presume that person to be dead?

HON. BITI: It is much less Mr. Speaker Sir. It is two years. The duration is not of much importance but the circumstances. An application is made and then it is advertised in the Government Gazette. The idea being that if he is alive or at a small house, they will say he is there. That process needs to be done but it is quite problematic especially in Matabeleland.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, thank you very much for that clarification.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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