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Mugabe Arrives in South Africa Amid Calls for Him to Find Missing Dzamara

  • VOA Staff

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, right, arrives for the heads of state meeting of the annual African Union (AU) summit, held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2015.

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, right, arrives for the heads of state meeting of the annual African Union (AU) summit, held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2015.

President Mugabe arrived in South Africa on Tuesday for an official visit amid reports that some protesters had gathered at the Oliver Tambo International Airport where they were expected to urge him to find missing political activist, Itai Dzamara of Occupy Africa Unity Square.

President Mugabe landed at Waterkloof Airbase and was quickly driven to a local place to meet some South African officials.

According to some media reports, Zimbabwean protesters continued to stage the demonstration despite Mr. Mugabe’s move to land at another airport.

Dzamara was allegedly abducted by unknown assailants a month ago by suspected state security agents and efforts to find him have been in vain with the courts ordering police and the national spy network, the Central Intelligence Organization, to locate him.

At the same time, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said in a statement President Mugabe should ensure that Dzamara is found as soon as possible.

“We note that the visit by President Mugabe happens at a time when the deteriorating and precarious political and economic situation in Zimbabwe poses a threat to both national and regional peace and stability. We note with great concern, as a case in point, the abduction of journalist and pro-democracy activist, Itai Dzamara, by suspected state security agents on the 9th of March 2015. Itai Dzamara’s whereabouts, state and well-being remain unknown today,” read part of the statement.

Crisis in Zimbabwe said in light of some of these issues, they are pleading with South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, to insist that Zimbabwe – as chair of both the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) demonstrates commitment to upholding the rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and accountability by urgently undertaking key democratic reforms that support Zimbabwe’s new constitutional dispensation.

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