Moyo under fire over Dzamara slur

HARARE - Information minister Jonathan Moyo has been sledged by rights groups for his “condescending remarks” that there was nothing unusual about the enforced disappearance of activist Itai Dzamara.

Responding to a question by Stephen Sackur on BBC’s HARDtalk on Monday about the abduction of Dzamara near his Glen View home on March 9, Moyo claimed there was nothing unusual about the disappearance, suggesting that even in the UK, people disappear without trace.

“That’s very sad,” Moyo said.

“We do not know who took him and perhaps those who took him and God knows where he is. But the fact that one person is missing is obviously of concern to the government and our position on that is very clear.

“However, people disappear everyday and you mention one person but in fact we have quite some porous borders. A lot of people cross borders without our knowing. In the UK, people disappear everyday even those who would have been making public statements against the government there, they disappear, cross the borders and end up in Syria, with the British government not knowing.”

Kumbirai Mafunda, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesperson, said they expected government to be serious about the safety of its citizens.

“We expect the government to be taking serious concern and working to reassure and guarantee the safety of Zimbabwean citizens,” he said.

“The energy and focus of the government should be on locating this missing citizen and help bring answers to Dzamara’s agonising family and two children Nokutenda and Nenyasha.”

Jestina Mukoko, national director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, said Moyo’s comments were insensitive.

“I am just appalled at the way Jonathan Moyo responded to the Dzamara question,” Mukoko said.

“We are looking at a family looking for answers to whether he is still alive or not. We are hearing from lawyers that the reports that are coming through from the police are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Lovemore Chinoputsa, MDC Youth Assembly secretary, slammed Moyo at Dzamara’s house where members of the Youth Assembly had visited the missing activist’s wife Sheffra.

“We are saddened and disappointed at Moyo’s remarks on BBC that Dzamara’s disappearance is a normal thing that happens in any country,” Chinoputsa said.

“We view the condescending remarks as a clear testimony that the government is not serious about searching for Dzamara. We know that the government has a lot of apparatus at its disposal that it can use to search for Dzamara and we are now convinced that they are not concerned about his disappearance.”

Two days before Dzamara’s abduction, he delivered a speech at an opposition rally in Harare, offering solidarity with the MDC for mass protests against the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe.

“We are in no doubt as to the perpetrators of this abduction,” opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told a news conference just after his abduction.

“We hold Mugabe and his regime responsible for this morbid and senseless act.

“The president — who is also the AU (African Union) and Sadc (Southern African Development Community) chair — cannot preside over a country where innocent citizens get abducted and disappear.”

The United States and European Union have both called on authorities to immediately investigate the disappearance.

Visiting US deputy assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Steven Feldstein said last week a positive review of the sanctions would depend on Harare “giving facts” regarding the missing activist.

“This to us is something that raises significant concerns and we have discussed with the government that they have to conduct a full and transparent investigation,” said the US envoy.

“We have had the allegations and the circumstances of the disappearance and I think it’s important that we have the facts as quickly as we can.

“We do not know what has happened to Mr Dzamara. What we know is that we are concerned when someone who has a common and primary human rights voice, who is representing the civil society in Zimbabwe, all of a sudden, disappears without any real answers.

“Our government takes serious the issue of human rights when it comes to diplomatic relations and development.”

Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi last week told senators that the police were still searching for Dzamara but there were no leads.

Ziyambi said the police were sending out appeals to anyone who might have any information around the whereabouts of Dzamara to come forward.


Comments (28)

This is something that was said is linked to sharing the money given to Dzamara and was supposed to be shared Tsvangirai included

chatsva - 20 May 2015

Lack of concern from Moyo points to the fact that they have knowledge of the activist's disappearance. Its no secret that anyone deemed a threat to Zanu pf gets eliminated. This level of arrogance shows a government that is out of touch and cares less about its citizens. If you dare them you get killed. The Mugabe regime is above the law.

Robert Bvuma - 20 May 2015

siyanai ne zanupf vanhu ve dailynews . endai kwamagaya na makandiwa munobvunzira

onemayo - 20 May 2015

Toenderei kunonetsa maporofita isu tichiziva munaye. Muburitsei chete mhuri yake nenyika tiwane zororo

dollarman - 20 May 2015

may our government take people seriously and respect them..some citizens escape the government's brutality and end up attacked in foreign lands..Zimbabweans mukai and fight this madness..people should be safe in their own countries.Mr President protect yo people

nasty o - 21 May 2015

Ha bazukulu umlungu lo we Hard talking uthi uJonny come late had relatives affected by Gukuuruuuhundi, and the man sees no offense there!!! Ha yimali yonke le or yikuhlanya? bazukulu?

UNCLE REAL - 21 May 2015

This my advice to Jonathan Moyo. See what has happened to Dydimus Mutasa and Temba. You will be the next victim. Therefore mind what you say coz tomorrow you will go the same way. Ndezvenyika izvi usaite semunhu asinakuenda kuchikoro. Dont behave as someone who never went to school. Tomorrow dont come to the same and cry like is the case with your friends. Mind your mouth. Ndapedza.

felix - 21 May 2015

MDC,NGO & their western friends know where they hide Dzamara so that his disappearance would be blamed on ZANU PF and government manje trick iyoyo yava old fashioned,haichashandi.....hati tambiswi bhora risina mweya isu vana Chamatoto.Its also a fact people that world people disappear everyday without trace and it does not mean the governments do not care....Zimbabwe included,so don't make noise over things you know pretty well you white stooges kumbirai mari zvakanaka kuvarungu venyu.

Baba Tadi - 21 May 2015

Baba vaTadi be careful next ndimi to be abducted .These pple Havana mugoni Inga vanaR.Gumbo vaimbodya naMambo asi ikozvino tafanana togarira mafufu segonzo wani. Ana Kasukuwere vanga vototonga nyika ikozvino vakugedageda meno.

Tadi - 21 May 2015

god is watching one day he will give a judgement whether its good or bad. after all we will all die but hazvipereri ipapo Ishe uchatonga. Zimboz wait upon the Lord. Simba hatina coz tikataurisa tourawa. Kutsiva ndokwaMwari.

c.berts - 21 May 2015

Vakangwara havo veZanu hapana chavanotya. Mangwana ndinhasi. God is still on His Throne. WE SHALL SEE

Bull Ant - 21 May 2015

Siyanai navo vana baba Tadi, vanonetsa here ava muchavaona wave kupenga, Ngozi havaizive. Takaona vakawanda vakauraya but nhasi uno havana rugare nemhuri dzavo dziri kutambura havazive kwazvakabva nenyaya yemari. Kupusa nekusaziva, munofunga kuti mari ndozvese baba Tadi, stupid fool and murderers.

fokoro - 21 May 2015

In fact Moyo was kind to respond like a gentle man, because it is the puppets and its sponsors who happen to know this Dzamara. 99.999 percent of Zimbabweans do not know who this idiot is, and what he stands for.

reason - 21 May 2015

Baba Tadi - What is the relevance of being a "white stooge" to this incident? Is it your standard racist response to civilized moral advancement beyond your comprehension?

John - 21 May 2015

Reason - I take it that you are not a puppet or sponsor of Dzamara, so chances are that you don't know him, so how can you say he is an idiot? Only idiots jump to these sort of unfounded conclusions.

John - 21 May 2015

reason and baba tadi may you be the next victims in Jesus name amen

moses chokuda - 21 May 2015

reason and baba tadi may you be the next victims in Jesus name amen

moses chokuda - 21 May 2015

reason and baba tadi may you be the next victims in Jesus name amen

moses chokuda - 21 May 2015

reason and baba tadi may you be the next victims in Jesus name amen

moses chokuda - 21 May 2015

moyo haana moyo.

tula - 21 May 2015

Vana moyo musaita kunge ZANU hamuizive kwakaenda munhu mokuziva but remember chaunoita uchifunga kuti wakangwara or wakaurisa God is always there. To those who kidnapped Dzamara zvichagona kuuya kumhuri dzenyu mwari anoona uye kuchema kwake nerimwe remazuva kuchanzikwa nanyadenga, yeGokwe kwachokuda maikangamwa.

fireman - 21 May 2015

Situation is simple. police should arrest those accusing police of kidnaping and place them before a magistrate to prove the kidnaping took place, failing which they should receive 7 years for serious defamation. irresponsible reporters have hampered national investigations for years and being too dim to understand is no excuse. The massacre in Mtebeleland could have been investigated properly if ignorant journalists had not pointed the finger in the wrong direction thus getting public support tom protect the culprits. Ted Sutton- price in pretioria said it was his best operation. When minister of homev affairs he employed agents to destalise the ters as he called them, he kept them on the payroll with back up from camps in Botswana and Mozambique. in the lasrgest currency deal ever, the Peter Mandaza case where evidence admitted psychological warfare funding ignored by anti government reporters - not journalist questioned why such a huge amount of funding came to Zimbabwe - we need journalists with above minimum IQ to investigste and apologise for their associates who using there inferior IQ got it absolutely wrong protecting those involved, already known and involved in the deal. One day a journalist will catch u[p with current affairs - but we nee one with intelligence and ethics - that's very hard to find

john - 22 May 2015

@moses chokuda, The lord Jesus never listens to such kind of prayers, its like Satan saying to Jesus " If You are the Son of God, Command that these stones become bread"This was a temptation to use God's gifts for selfish purposes and Jesus refused. So i hope you read Matthew 4 - The Temptation of Jesus and His First Galilean Ministry . Such idiotic requests from the lord will definitely backfire.

reason - 22 May 2015

No one can just disappear into thin air without a trace someone somewhere knows something

Bouganvillia - 22 May 2015

Correction: One cannot just disappear into thin air someone somewhere knows something

Bouganvillia - 22 May 2015

remember politics is dirty,and ateya mariva murutsva asatya kusviba magaro.politics dzine mubairo ,good or bad.

kwadzinorohwa matumbu - 22 May 2015

its true that people disappear but not all are in the same league with Dzamara hence Zimbabweans and the world at large need to know what really happened

Beaven wekwa Dhliwayo - 22 May 2015

Let us learn to trust our leaders for a minute. If they tell us they dont know where the chap is what is so complex about that? any way even if they knew it they have reasons for not telling we the ordinary folk who dont know about intricate security issues.

Jonsina - 27 May 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.