HARARE – New United States of America (USA) ambassador designate Harry Thomas says he hopes to dine with missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara one day.
Thomas, who shares the Dzamara family’s hopes of seeing him again, says he hopes the powers that be will make sure that the father of two, missing since March 9, will be found.
“We will invite the entire scope of Zimbabwean polity to our home and expect that one day soon we will dine with disappeared human rights activist Itai Dzamara,” Thomas said in his swearing-in speech early this month.
The USA, along with other international embassies have consistently raised concern over Dzamara’s disappearance.
At the time of his disappearance, Dzamara was leading a campaign dubbed Occupy Unity Square where he, together with a few other individuals, demonstrated against President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Thomas said the Zimbabwe Constitution, much like the US Constitution, enshrined democratic rights which must be respected.
“Our constitutions begin with the stirring phrase, “We the People,” and guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. Our shared values underscore the importance of ending domestic violence, promoting gender equality and supporting the gay and lesbian community, because it does not matter who you choose to love.
“We will align with the Zimbabwean government and people to further democracy, lower barriers to investment, combat HIV and Aids, and end the scourge of human trafficking.
“We look to partner with Zimbabweans to conserve wildlife and bring American tourists who will help villagers dependent on the safari industry,” said Thomas.
Thomas added that the United States was willing to invest in Zimbabwe to boost the country’s economy.
“Our Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali) will continue to reach out to the youth, and Voice of America will remain an opportunity for all people to express support and dissent,” said Thomas.
“We are pleased that the construction of our new embassy will inject millions of dollars and hundreds of much-needed jobs into the local economy.
“Its construction is further evidence of our commitment to the Zimbabwean people. We will build bridges to the Zimbabwean Diaspora, best represented today by our friends Regis and Tanya Spandhla.
Regis and I worked together in Embassy Harare back when I had hair and jogged to work,” said Thomas.