High Court orders government to search for Dzamara

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HIGH Court judge, David Mangota, has ordered the home Affairs and state security ministers, the ZRP Commissioner-General and the CIO  Director-General to find missing journalist turned democracy activist Itai Dzamara.

The order was issued on Friday.

Mangota, a former senior civil servant with the ministry of Justice, agreed to a plea by lobby group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Zlhr) to force the state to expend all resources to find Dzamara.

The activist was allegedly abducted on Monday (9 March) by five men in the sprawling Harare high density suburb of Glen view while having a hair-cut.

Mangota’s order cited the government arms headed by Kembo Mohadi as Home Affairs Minister, Happyton Bonyogwe, who currently administers the CIO and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri cited as respondents.

The judge ruled that the officials “… shall do all things necessary to determine his (Dzamara)’s whereabouts including advertising within 12 hours of the granting of this order on all state media outlets including radio, television.

“Respondents to dispatch a team of detectives to work closely in conjunction with lawyers appointed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to search for Itai Dzamara at such places as maybe within their jurisdiction in terms of the law and report progress of such search to the Registrar of the High Court by 1600hrs every Friday fortnightly until his whereabouts are determined.”

Consternation has hit the country’s pro-democracy movements since Dzamara disappeared and days fly by without him being found.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has blamed President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government, claiming the administration was behind Dzamara’s abduction.

Foreign embassies have also called on government to “use all resources available to find the activist”.

Dzamara has, since late last year, led a group of citizens into picketing under an operation codenamed Occupy Africa Unity Square which was inspired by the North African Uprisings that toppled the likes of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

The group has called for Mugabe to step-down, with Dzamara having been arrested and bludgeoned for his efforts by state agents.

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