'Dzamara wanted to expose ballot fraud'

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai made sensational claims yesterday that missing human rights activist, Itai Dzamara, was abducted by suspected State agents because he had in his possession damning evidence of ballot fraud from the controversial 2013 polls.

The former prime minister in the government of national unity made the claim after joining the Dzamara family and hundreds of other Zimbabweans who marched in Harare to commemorate the first anniversary of the disappearance of the “Occupy Africa Unity Square” movement leader.

In the meantime, embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told lawmakers in the National Assembly that police still had no leads on the journalist-cum-democracy activist’s whereabouts.

Dzamara was abducted on March 9, 2015, two days after he had addressed an MDC rally at Zimbabwe Grounds, in the Harare high density suburb of Highfield.

Addressing the huge crowd that gathered at Africa Unity Square, the popular park where Dzamara used to operate from during his brave demonstrations in which he called upon President Robert Mugabe to step down for misgoverning the country, Tsvangirai disclosed that the missing activist had damning information on the disputed 2013 elections.

“Ndinoziva (I know) Itai was somebody who was very knowledgeable about how the 2013 election were rigged. He told me, and we cannot accept this, especially me. I witnessed the abductions of people in 2008.

“We have a right to demonstrate. The police should not tell us what to do. Why do they always try to block peaceful demonstrations?” the MDC leader said, referring to the earlier attempt by police to ban yesterday’s demonstrations.

High Court judge Clement Phiri eventually had to intervene to allow the Dzamara family to proceed with its planned peaceful march, to mark exactly one year since the activist disappeared.

“This government has mismanaged the economy and now it is threatening the safety and security of citizens that is guaranteed by the Constitution. We demand that this government returns Dzamara, whether dead or alive, so that there is closure on this emotive issue

“Itai Dzamara’s disappearance presents the unacceptable face of this regime, the face of a regime that embarks on abducting people because they have different views,” Tsvangirai charged.

After the speech, Tsvangirai joined the Dzamara family in a solidarity march on the streets of Harare, while the issue caused rancour in Parliament, where legislators demanded answers on the activist’s whereabouts.

“I assure this house that government will leave no stone unturned in the investigation of the disappearance of this citizen of ours. Also this matter went to court … So let me assure this house that this concern is not only the family’s concern, but it’s the concern of every citizen of this country.

“I don’t know if there is any honourable member who does not care or is not worried about this disappearance. I doubt it because you won’t want a citizen of this country to disappear without a trace.

“We are all concerned. And anybody with any information, confirmed or unconfirmed, let them come forward so that, that information is examined,” Mnangagwa told Parliament.

Home Affairs deputy minister, Obedingwa Mguni, said his ministry had intensified its search for the activist and had now set a reward for any information on Dzamara’s whereabouts.

“Let me say it’s a big concern to all of us … the police have formulated a committee that involves human rights lawyers, Itai Dzamara’s family and friends. They sit every month to discuss issues that may lead to the recovery of the great man,” Mguni said.

But Oliver Mandipaka, the Zanu PF MP for Buhera West, rose to ask: “What was so great about Dzamara?”, to which Mguni, in a sharp retort, said:   “Honourable, every citizen in Zimbabwe is a great person”.

In a statement issued later, the US Embassy in Harare said it remained deeply concerned about Dzamara’s whereabouts and wellbeing.

“The United States urges the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms are honoured and enjoyed by all Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation.

“We also encourage the Government of Zimbabwe to fully investigate cases of politically-motivated violence and abductions to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and victims receive justice,” the embassy said.

On its part, the Canadian Embassy said it also remained troubled by the lack of progress in the investigation of the matter, as well as the dearth of information about the case.

“The Embassy of Canada calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to pursue its efforts to resolve this prolonged and untenable situation, for the relief of the family and friends of Mr Dzamara.

“Canada remains concerned about human rights, democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Zimbabwe and will continue to work to foster a more peaceful, democratic and prosperous future for all Zimbabweans, consistent with Zimbabwe’s own Constitution,” the embassy said.

Comments (32)

avo Vakuru vanonzi vaMandipaka vakawana nguva vakwane vuye ngavafunge semunhu mukuru baba hwayi vanorashika kutaurakudero ndivo vaivhiyisiwa mbudzi padare

sunungurai - 10 March 2016

Mr Mandipaka, Itai Dzamara is special because he is a human being and someone's son. What would you say if your son was kidnapped without trace? If you have nothing to say shut up.

Disaster - 10 March 2016

Mandipaka should be ashamed for standing up to ask such a lame, stupid question. One day one of yours will disappear as well

misty - 10 March 2016

Mandipaka should be ashamed for standing up to ask such a lame, stupid question. One day one of yours will disappear as well

misty - 10 March 2016

Mandipaka is a former ZRP operative whose basic understanding of human rights is ZERO.

Mukanya - 10 March 2016

What do you think of someone who just warms up seats in parliament like Mandipaka..ndosaka yaikutii ma Grade 7 uchiri ku Police....stupid MP

Nthabazundi - 10 March 2016

Mandipaka = Duzvi renhunzi

Zvinoshamisa - 10 March 2016

What a lame Mandipaka,parliament does not need such fools

PEACE THE WORLD OVER - 10 March 2016

Oliver Mandipaka should be considered a prime suspect

Dingiswayo - 10 March 2016

What do you expect from someone who was a former policeman? No remorse at all. ZERO!!!!!Those who voted him into parly are regretting. If you have nothing to say Mandipaka,just park your bottom in that seat.

Shocked - 10 March 2016

Tsvangirai carries absolutely zero credibility, is the worst opposition leader ever and therefore is not worth listening to. Tsvangirai has failed us on so many different occasions, made promises he never kept, focused more on women instead of his job. No, never ever will I listen to anything he says ever again. He is a failure.

Phukit - 10 March 2016

People shall not forget and probably not forgive, The sun is setting , wake up mr mandipaka, you might found yourself on the side like Zpf. You will struggle to shake off that dirty...

X-MAN IV - 10 March 2016

Mandipaka, dai Mwari vakutora.

Mutongi Gava - 10 March 2016

Ndosaka muchiri kupfeka uniform kunge mwana we school fees vaMandipaka

slough - 10 March 2016

damn u mandipaka,revise your manners mhani.silly

silo - 11 March 2016

Someone in the same Parliament put a foot in his mouth by querying the fuss over the disappearance of Dzamara, saying that people disappeared everyday without trace everywhere in the world and we should not be worried. When the learned Professor lost his daughter in controversial circumstances, some of us sympathised, but there were others who stuck their noses out at him and asked if the loss was not just as ordinary as the disappearance of Dzamara. Oliver Mandipaka, you are NOT God!. One day uchazodawo sympathy dzevanhu, and you will get it from the devil!

duzvi - 11 March 2016

The fact that Dzamara requested the President to step down while the 14 million of us kept quite means he was different from us. Now that the whole country is worried about Dzamara's disappearance means he was greater than Mandipaka an unknown MP. At if you have nothing to say guys it is better to keep quite. Just because that you have to debate this in parliament so he was great.

chihwemukudu - 11 March 2016

Takumaka you idiot Mandipaka. One day uchazviona...I promise you. Musatanyoko wako iwewe Mandipaka, you do not deserve to be an MP

gamuchirayi - 11 March 2016

Mandipaka wakapakweiko kubva wadaro nhai iwe

Tsunami - 11 March 2016

Mandipaka mhata yamai vako yakaora. Mwana wehure.

Madhebhura - 11 March 2016

If i remember correctly, last year when Dzamara was adbucted and people started making noise from all corners of the country. Jonathan Moyo said almost the same thing tha Mandipaka said.. actually he said what so special about the missing Dzamara, people go missing every day blah blah. Only some few months passed before his daughter was brutally murdered in SA. I think Jonathan now understands the importance of one's son. Mandipaka, MANDIPAKA, God and the spirit of Dzamara is watching you.

Robsugar - 11 March 2016

Mandipaka akawana nguva apake njere dzake shoma.

Dr. Dhewa - 11 March 2016

mandipaka arikufunga kuti arikutaura iye achisura. saka zvekunosurira mu parly bodo. handizvo zvawakavhoterwa izvozvo, kunosurira mu parly. sily

dzapasi - 11 March 2016

mandipaka SUPER IDIOT

Harare - 11 March 2016

Its sad that a citizen disapears like that.I hate it,even if the person is frm difernt party.its bad,very bad.we fought for freedom of expresion also.that was rhe purpose.bt I have auestions for 2 persons,Robert Mugabe n Morgan Tsvangirai.For Mugabe plse tells us wht the police,cio reported to yu on this man disapearence.To Tsvangirai ,plse dnt play innocent here.its yo duty to know wht hapened to this man.wht does yo own intelligence branch tell yu?that information yu say how cme yu only saing now,n yu shuld hav been the person to disapear becoz of this infor.when Dzamara told yu this fraud wht did yo intelligence department sugest on Dzamara security?did yu just dismis him?I dnt think so.either yu know or yu new all this n yu decided to be passive on it n walk away frm Dzamara when hevtold yu.Or yu r just lying,he never told yu this.This is a puzzle that needs MDC inteliigence unit to help.

viola gwena - 11 March 2016

Trying to gain political mileage riding on our emotions Mr Tsvangirayi. Our hearts are with the Dzamara family who are in the dark as to his whereabouts we hope one day he is going to come back home or at least the truth will be revealed. MT forget about your loss dont marry it to the Dzamaras'.

Dlodlo - 11 March 2016

I'm utterly surprised by people who blame Tsvangirai for that speech he made when commemorating Dzamara's disappearance. He has proved that he cares much about the freedom and safety of the citizens. In total contrast, the president of the republic was globe trotting not even offering some solidarity message to the family. As for the foolish Mandipaka, you shall not hide behind Zanu PF forever. Shame on you.

Titus - 11 March 2016

I think viola hs raised seriouse questions here.Tsvangirai needs to do a lot beter.whr is Casio u

gidza - 11 March 2016

Va Mandipaka vakamirira vanhu here mu Parliament or Makudo kuma komo kwavo. Kana vachibvunza importance ye zimbabwean citizen zvimorevei. this guy knows where Itai is. his constituency must be worried to him they are not important.

kakairo - 12 March 2016

Mandipaka ! Mandipaka ! Mandipaka ! How many times did I call your name?

Chipoto Vhaivhai - 14 March 2016

zanu politicians don't care about anyone; they don't care even for their fellow 'cadres.' that is why the likes of mandipaka have the carelessness of lampooning such an irresponsible statement in parliament. of all the places; parliament! bvunzai jona kuti kurasa mukanwa kunodii? zvickakuwanai wamandipaka.

SaManyika Chaiye - 14 March 2016

Mandipaka, shut up if u don't have anything to say in parly. Dzamara is a great man coz he was fighting for u too. God will judge you

Cde Dr. - 16 March 2016

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