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Search for 'Abducted' Itai Dzamara Intensifies in Zimbabwe

  • Blessing  Zulu

Abducted political activist Itai Dzamara seen in Harare recently at the Africa Unity Square.

Abducted political activist Itai Dzamara seen in Harare recently at the Africa Unity Square.

Lawyers representing human rights activist and freelance journalist Itai Dzamara are on Tuesday expected to start visiting all official police and prison holding cells as the search for the missing activist intensifies a week after his alleged abduction in Glen View suburb in Harare.

But some human rights activists say the search might be doomed since the court did not allow them to also look into secret military and central intelligence detention cells.

Officer commanding the Criminal Investigation Department’s Law and Order Division, Detective Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge, has been put in charge of the investigation to locate Dzamara.

The police over the weekend appealed to members of the public on radio and in newspapers to give them information that may be key in finding Dzamara.

Acting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa called Dzamara’s alleged kidnapping as “barbaric”.

High court judge David Mangota ordered the state last week to search for Dzamara and ensure his safe return to his family.

One of Dzamara’s lawyers, Alec Muchadehama told VOA Studio 7 that the searches will likely begin Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Dzamara’s family on Monday held a press conference to dispel rumours that the activist had gone into voluntary hiding to seek media attention.

His brother, Patson Dzamara, indicated that the disappearance is putting a strain on the family.

Dzamara’s disappearance has raised tensions in Harare forcing the government to deploy heavily armed police officers in the city centre and put the majority of the force on high alert.

Zimbabweans in London and South Africa upped pressure on the government to locate Dzamara by demonstrating over the weekend.

The United States, European Union and several western countries and human rights groups have all called on the government to find Dzamara.