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Minister grilled over abductions, Dzamara

by Staff reporter
28 May 2020 at 08:06hrs | Views
HOME Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro was yesterday under fire over police's failure to deal with abduction cases and to find the missing activist cum-journalist Itai Dzamara who disappeared in 2015.

MDC legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga asked Madiro to explain how far the police had gone towards investigating the abduction of three MDC Alliance activists, Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova three weeks ago.

The trio was arrested for staging a demonstration in Warren Park, Harare, during the COVID-19 lockdown period. But they went missing soon after being arrested and were later found dumped in Bindura after being tortured.

"The MP has raised an important issue on the protection and sanctity of the lives of citizens. However, with regards to allegations of abduction of the three citizens, investigations are still underway," Madiro said.

"What is critical is that the police should do extensive investigations to establish what exactly happened because these are mere allegations – and if they complete the investigations, the nation will be informed.

"If there is anyone with information to assist the police in their investigations, they are welcome to bring it because the police are doing everything within their power to establish the truth."

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) then raised the Dzamara issue, saying that the fact that nothing was being done to investigate it was tarnishing the image of the country internationally.

Mliswa said police commissioner general Godwin Matanga should be fired for failing to investigate abductions and to complete investigations in Dzamara's disappearance.

"For a long time, the First Republic was known for violating people's lives and the Second Republic are reformists, and so, it is important that the Home Affairs minister should bring the reports of abductions and even the report of Dzamara because that is the reason why the country is not getting international aid.

"When it is time to arrest us – they (police) have the resources to arrest us, but when it is time to investigate our (opposition) abductions, they say they do not have the resources to do so. If the police are not efficient, then the Commissioner-General, who is failing to get his team to investigate these issues, must be fired," Mliswa said.

Madiro's response was that Zimbabwe's police force was "top class" compared to other police forces.

"Those who have information on Dzamara should bring it to the police. The police do not arrest on allegations or on insufficient information. I want to submit that our police force is actually the best," he said.

Makoni Central MP David Tekeshe (MDC Alliance) said: "The Dzamara issue has been investigated for five years yet there are no answers. But when a police officer was killed in Glen View, 20 people were arrested in one day and three imprisoned yet up to now the Dzamara case is not being investigated."

Madiro claimed that the Home Affairs minister came before Parliament and gave an update on Dzamara.

"We cannot predict the timeframe of when a crime will be investigated. We have a service charter which states how long we must take to do investigations, but we still cannot just arrest when we do not have evidence," Madiro said.

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Source - newsday