The family of missing political activist, Itai Dzamara, has for the first time released an image said to be that of the missing Occupy Africa Unity Square leader, which it sourced from some Zimbabwean state security agents, allegedly linked to his abduction in Harare almost 15 months ago.
Family representative and Itai’s brother, Patson Dzamara, told journalists that the image and details and names of his alleged abductors were availed by some of the people close to his disappearance.
Though he could not say whether his brother was dead or alive, Patson said the family sought help from experts to verify the authenticity of the photos. He said the experts noted that they were real.
Patson told the journalists that indications are that his abductors masked him probably because they were torturing him.
Though the family had previously cited state security agents as responsible for Itai’s disappearance, Patson said evidence availed to them pointed to some military intelligence operatives as his possible assailants.
“I cannot at this juncture state my brother’s fate in the hands of these gangsters but I can categorically inform you Itai Dzamara was abducted by the military intelligence under the direct instruction and supervision of Zanu PF,” Dzamara said.
There was no immediate reaction from the military intelligence over these allegations.
Patson, who was flanked by members of the Itai’s Occupy Africa Unity Square group, showed journalists a purported image of Itai at one of the places where he was kept following his abduction in March last year.
“This is one of the places where Itai was kept. We managed to verify the image. As a family we know him and we also used professional services in so far as identifying the person in the image is concerned,” he said.
He said the pictures were provided after they asked for proof of life but he could not tell when and whether Itai was alive.
“We do not know why his head is covered like this but according to the professionals there is a highly likelihood that they actually tortured him to such an extent that he sustained head injuries and because of that they had to cover the head,” Dzamara said.
Dzamara said the family had been furnished with names of Itai’s alleged abductors as the family was still gathering information and would release more information at the appropriate time.
Zimbabwe Republic police national police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, refused to comment about the Dzamara family press conference saying she had not seen the purported Itai images.
She said the Dzamara family was better positioned to provide more information regarding Itai Dzamara.
But Dzamara family lawyer, Kennedy Masiye, said following the latest information on the missing political activist, they would furnish the courts with the details.
“We are definitely going to take this information back to court and also going to approach the authorities who are said to be ceased with investigations of his whereabouts and force them to investigate and find where Itai is,” he said.
Despite a court ruling compelling security agents to find Itai Dzamara, the family accuses the police of showing lack of interest in the matter.
Dzamara, a journalists turned human rights activist, was allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents in March last year.