Lawyers sue government over missing Dzamara

THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights plans to sue the government  for “being reluctant” to comply with a Constitutional Court order which compelled security agents to search for the missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

Dzamara, the leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square movement, went missing on 9 March in Harare’s Glenview High density suburb and has not been seen or heard from since.

Prior to his abduction, Dzamara had led protests in Harare demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

The journalist-cum rights activist was taken by unknown assailants from a barbershop in the area and human rights defenders believe he was abducted by state security agents because of the nature of the agenda he was pushing.

In a statement Saturday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda said over the Easter holiday they were working on a contempt of court application against the State for ‘failing’ to find Dzamara three weeks on.

“While others are enjoying the holiday break, in Zimbabwe, human rights lawyers have commenced Contempt of Court proceedings against Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Central Intelligence Organisation Director-General Happyton Bonyongwe and State Security Minister for failing to comply with a High Court order issued on Friday 13 March 2015 by Justice David Mangota which obliges them to report after every two weeks on progress they have made in searching for the missing Dzamara,” said Mafunda.

On Friday the Australian Embassy repeated its call for the release of Dzamara.

“It has been over three weeks since the disappearance of human rights activist and leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square movement, Itai Dzamara.  We remain seriously concerned by his disappearance, and for his welfare,” the embassy said in a statement.

“The Australian Embassy reiterates its call on the Government of Zimbabwe to do everything in its power to find Mr Dzamara.

“We note the High Court judgment of 13 March, which orders the Zimbabwean authorities to mount a search for Mr Dzamara and regularly report on progress until he is found.

“As Chair of the African Union and Southern African Development Community, we look to Zimbabwe to lead the way in demonstrating the utmost respect for the fundamental rights protected under its Constitution.”