Mutare Central Senator and Zanu PF Central Committee member, Judith Mawire, said it was shocking and disheartening that human rights activists were only focusing on the disappearance of Dzamara and yet there were a number of people who have been missing for years.
Senator Mawire said this during a Thematic Committee on Human Rights meeting with representatives from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). The lawyersâ€™ group representatives, Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Rose Hanzi and Maureen Shonge, were sharing the ZLHR State of Human Rights Report with the legislators.
â€œWe have heard of so many people who have disappeared including women and children, but we donâ€™t hear the same noise that you are making on the disappearance of Dzamara,â€ said Senator Mawire.
â€œWhy him only? Is it because he was so popular and you are now ignoring some poor individuals with nothing to contribute to Zimbabwe?â€ she said.
Responding to the questions, Hanzi said sometimes her organisation would not be aware of cases of some people hence no action on such developments.
â€œWe donâ€™t discriminate; it doesnâ€™t matter to us whether someone is rich or popular or not.
â€œActually, our organisation represents all the people in the country, but what is important is for us to be provided with such information. Most of the cases that we have represented are actually from poor members of the society.â€
Dzamara was abducted by suspected state agents in March last year from a makeshift salon in the high density suburb of Glen View. Since then his whereabouts and what happened to him is still unknown.
A number of Churches and civil society organisations country wide have organised prayer meetings and discussion forums focusing on the missing Dzamara. Prominent politicians such as MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and former war veteransâ€™ leader, Jabulani Sibanda, have attended some of the meetings.
Members of the Dzamara family, friends and ordinary Zimbabweans have also organised related events.
Western embassies have repeatedly expressed their concern on the Dzamara issue and emphasised that his case could further strain relations between their countries and President Robert Mugabeâ€™s government.
Ahead of his disappearance, Dzamara held a series of demonstration in central Harare calling on â€œfailed Mugabeâ€ to step down. He was repeatedly beaten up by the police but still persisted with his protests.
Other people who have disappeared under Mugabeâ€™s rule are Patrick Nabanyama and Rashiwe Guzha. Nabanyama, then David Coltartâ€™s campaign manager, was abducted by war veterans in 2000. Guzha, who disappeared in the 1990â€™s, was a state intelligence officer.
Hundreds of civilians disappeared in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions during the 1980â€™s Gukurahundi killings which have been blamed on Mugabe and his inner circle.
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