Zimbabwe legislator calls for closure of Itai Dzamara disappearance case


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Zimbabwe legislator Willias Madzimure yesterday called for the closure of the Itai Dzamara case saying his family needs to move on once they know whether he is dead or not.

Dzamara, a journalist-turned-activist, disappeared on 9 March 2015 though Madzimure said he disappeared on 15 March.

“The Dzamara family is still in pain because in our traditions, there are things that should be done when a person is lost or that person is dead because the issue is still within the hands of the police and the Government,” Madzimure said. 

“The family does not have closure regarding their child and for them to have closure there must be communication as to whether Itai Dzamara disappeared for good or what happened. So, like what the Minister of Home Affairs promised, there must be an explanation regarding the investigations. 

“There must be a statement to this august House to communicate to the nation and the Dzamara family that Dzamara is dead so that when his children need birth certificates and assistance, the family should seek assistance knowing that the investigations were completed.”

Independent legislator Temba Mliswa said there was actually a court order compelling the Minister of Home Affairs to update the House on Dzamara from time to time.

Full debate: 

HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. Every Zimbabwean national has a democratic right to be protected by the law to move freely around the country. On the 15th March, 2015, a certain man who was a reporter and used to write, Itai Dzamara, was taken by unknown people and this issue was taken up to Government structures and Government communicated that they were investigating the disappearance. The Hon. Minister came to this august House and promised the House that investigations were in progress, so they ascertain his whereabouts, but until now there is no feedback to the august House.  

The Dzamara family is still in pain because in our traditions, there are things that should be done when a person is lost or that person is dead because the issue is still within the hands of the police and the Government. The family does not have closure regarding their child and for them to have closure there must be communication as to whether Itai Dzamara disappeared for good or what happened. So, like what the Minister of Home Affairs promised, there must be an explanation regarding the investigations. There must be a statement to this august House to communicate to the nation and the Dzamara family that Dzamara is dead so that when his children need birth certificates and assistance, the family should seek assistance knowing that the investigations were completed. I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  I urge you to pose your question during the Question and Answer segment to the Minister of Home Affairs tomorrow so that he responds to your question regarding the investigation since he promised.

HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order.  The Hon. Minister informed the House that he will bring a Ministerial Statement.  This is not an issue which we should continue talking about the same things, asking him and responding.  We need to know how far the investigation has gone.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. If he has promised then I will ask the Deputy Chief Whip to remind him to bring that Ministerial Statement.

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order.  Madam Speaker, just to add to this – there is actually a court order, if I am not mistaken, which says we must be updated from time to time.  So it is really in compliance with the court order.  The Minister has not been able to comply with the court order because this is a matter of national interest which went before the courts.  The Minister has got to comply with the court order.  It is not a matter of even asking him to do us a favour but he is complying with the laws of the country. So, may be if he needs to be reminded about it that there is a court order to that, I think he would also realise that he cannot be seen to be in contempt.  It is a very serious issue, inofanira kupera nyaya yacho nokuti vari kuramba vachichema, tisingazivi kuti munhu mupenyu kana kuti haasi mupenyu. Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa.  The Hon. Minister will be reminded to come and update this august House.

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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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