Activist vanished a year ago - and Zim knows nothing

10 March 2016 - 02:44 By AFP, Nhlalo Ndaba

Hundreds rallied in Zimbabwe's capital yesterday over the shadowy disappearance of an opposition activist a year ago, as the US led calls for a probe into "politically motivated violence". Protesters including opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai demanded that President Robert Mugabe release information on how Itai Dzamara, a former journalist and harsh regime critic, was seized by unidentified men.Amnesty International said Dzamara's disappearance highlights a culture of impunity for human-rights violations in Zimbabwe.Dzamara was the leader of an anti-government campaign group that sought to force President Robert Mugabe to resign over the collapse of the economy.On March 9 last year Dzamara was bundled into an unmarked car while coming out of a barber shop and he has not been seen since."Why should the regime resort to violence whenever the people want to express themselves?" Tsvangirai told the rally in Harare's African Unity square, where Dzamara had staged sit-in protests and was once beaten by pro-Mugabe supporters."We will hound this government forever and ever until they bring Itai to us alive or dead."Dzamara had spent time in and out of police detention until he disappeared.''The United States remains deeply concerned about Mr Dzamara's whereabouts and wellbeing," said the US embassy in Harare.The government denied all accusations that it was involved and said it had no information on Dzamara's whereabouts."[We] will leave no stone unturned in the investigation about the disappearance of this citizen of ours," Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa told parliament yesterday.Dzamara has a wife, Sheffra, and two children.

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