Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Police have been submitting fortnightly updates on investigations into the disappearance of journalist-cum-MDC-T activist Itai Dzamara to the High Court and working closely with human rights lawyers in compliance with a court order issued in March this year.
A High Court record viewed by The Herald yesterday showed that eight reports had been filed by the police giving updates of progress made, although no tangible evidence had been picked up.
The revelation came amid allegations from some quarters that the police were not doing anything to establish the whereabouts of Dzamara, among other baseless and unsubstantiated claims.
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The fractious opposition has been striving to contrive events in a bid to trigger or achieve what it calls a Zimbabwe Arab Spring in a bid to unconstitutionally unseat the popularly elected Zanu-PF government.
The Arab Spring refers to the wave of demonstrations and protests, riots, and western-sponsored wars in the Arab world that began on December 18 2010 in Tunisia after the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouzizi culminating in the overthrow of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Dzamara was last seen on March 9 this year in Glen View 7, Harare.
The order issued by Justice David Mangota in March reads:
“The respondents who deny knowledge of Itai Dzamara’s whereabouts (police and CIO) shall do all things necessary to determine his whereabouts including advertising, within 12 hours of the granting of this order, on all State media including all radio stations, ZTV, The Herald and Chronicle.
“The respondents (shall) dispatch a team of police detectives to work closely and in conjunction with lawyers appointed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to search for Itai Dzamara at all such places as may be within their jurisdiction in terms of the law and to report progress of such search to the Registrar of the High Court by 1600hours every Friday, fortnightly until his whereabouts have been determined…”
Reports filed at the High Court by the police showed that detectives have been meeting human rights lawyers like Mr Charles Kwaramba and Mr Gift Mutisi in trying to establish the whereabouts of Dzamara.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said the force was leaving no stone unturned and that efforts were being made to search for Dzamara in compliance with the order.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has been complying with the High Court order issued by Justice Mangota and has been duly submitting fortnightly reports to the Registrar of the High Court,” he said.
In March, police filed a report informing the court that investigations had commenced with the Press and Public Relations Department issuing press statements to all media houses seeking any leads to the case and appealing to the public for assistance.
Another report dated April 9 2015 showed that Mr Mutisi of Musendekwa, Mutisi Legal Practitioners visited CID Law and Order Section in the company of an informant, Stephen Sibanda, and he was interviewed although the information was not of much assistance to the case.
On April 22, another report was filed at the High Court showing that the team of investigators visited Glen Norah and Glen View 7 after receiving some information, but nothing tangible was found.
The team also went to the said scene of kidnapping to check any fresh information and some two people Wellington and Tichaona Deketeke were interviewed, without any leads.
According to the report, on April 17, the investigating team met Mr Mutisi to exchange notes, but no fresh information came out.
The fourth report dated May 7 showed that investigators interviewed Occupy Africa Unity Square vice chairman Mr Dirk Frey (28) of Borrowdale following information that he had clashed with the missing Dzamara over some $200 donation received by the organisation.
According to the same report, Dzamara had received the $200 on behalf of the organisation and there were reports that the members had a dispute over the manner in which he spent it prior to his disappearance .
After the interview, police established that when Dzamara disappeared, the dispute had since been resolved.
Mr Frey said Dzamara had produced proof of expenditures and that he did not know anything about his disappearance.
On the same day, police also interviewed Mr Charles Nyoni, the secretary general of the organisation, but nothing tangible came out of the talks.
The fifth report dated May 20, showed that police went to the Registrar-General’s Office to verify the names posted on the social media as alleged kidnappers of Dzamara.
It was stated on the social media that Pierson Marufu NR 73-02851 T73 and another only identified as Chikore NR 59-134226 G32 were the ones who kidnapped Dzamara.
Investigations led to a person called Roger Emmanuel Chikoore, who was serving in prison for theft and Marufu was non-existent, according to the RG’s records.
The sixth report dated June 8 informed the court that no fresh information had been found.
Report Number 7 dated June 19, showed that Officer Commanding CID Law and Order Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge had communicated with Mr Kwaramba and Mr Mutisi who both indicated that they had no fruitful information that could assist in the search for Dzamara.
The eighth report dated July 2 2015, showed that police received information that a man who looked like Dzamara had been found at Wadzanai Bus Terminus in Shamva.
Investigators contacted Mr Kwaramba, but he was in Victoria Falls for some lawyer’s conference. They went on their own and discovered that the man was not Dzamara.
The ninth report is due for filing today at the High Court.