‘Govt must account for all missing people’

A human rights activist, Patson Dzamara, says the country needs to go through a national healing process in order to move forward.

Speaking at a national indaba on enforced disappearances in Zimbabwe organised by Habbakuk Trust last week, Dzamara said the country has been wounded hence the need for a true healing process.

“Zimbabwe’s urgent issue is not the economy but social re-engineering. Until and unless we re-engineer our social fabric, there is no moving forward,” he said.

“Most of us carry heavy hearts, have tears and these tears are crying out for attention we never get from the people who ought to be attending to us”.

Dzamara said citizens cannot experience total healing if they do not stand up and demand justice.

“In 2016 alone, l was arrested more than twenty-five times; I made more than 100 court appearances and the majority of the times it was because l chose to speak out. I too was abducted for speaking out simply because a man chose to take a stand and ask what happened to my brother, Itai Dzamara.

“l am sure that is not the Zimbabwe we want. Unless we attend to these issues whatever we try to do to move this country forward it’s not going to work.”

Patson`s brother, Itai, was abducted on March 9, 2015, by five unidentified men while at a barber shop in Harare’s Glenview suburb.

Itai has remained missing since then.

Patson said he decided to speak out on his brother`s disappearance despite the threat to his life.

“In the process of fighting for justice, Itai was abducted on the 9th of March 2015. Itai is not the only Zimbabwean who was abducted however he is special because we chose to speak out and for choosing to speak out l was not spared the evil machinations of the people whom we call our leaders,” he said.

He urged the nation to speak out against forced disappearances because they are a tool used by the government to silence citizens.

“As a nation, we must take these issues of enforced disappearances seriously because it is a tool the regime uses to silence and oppress the masses.

“If we all choose to stand and speak for what is right, no matter how evil they are, there is absolutely no way they can defeat all of us.”

Habakkuk Trust produced a compendium on the issue detailing heart-breaking accounts of various forced disappearances of Zimbabwean citizens.

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