Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday challenged officers to intensify their investigations into the alleged disappearance of MDC-T activist Itai Dzamara, who was reportedly abducted on Monday. He said the abduction was unfortunate and urged the police to be vigilant in their hunt for those responsible for this.
“Our Constitution from where we draw our mandate among others, expressly says in Section 219 subsections (a) to (d) and I quote; ‘There is a Police Service, which is responsible for (a) detecting, investigating and preventing crime; . . . ‘no one should be abducted handiti’, (b) preserving the internal security of Zimbabwe; . . . ‘arrest those who abducted’, (c) protecting and securing the lives and property of the people and (d) maintaining law and order’,” said Comm-Gen Chihuri .
He was addressing officers who were leaving for the United Nations International Peacekeeping mission in Liberia and Abyei.
Other officers recently returned home from similar missions in Liberia and South Sudan.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said the spirit of international peacekeeping was not different from their constitutional mandate as being executed at home.
Meanwhile, Dzamara’s wife, Sheffra, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court yesterday demanding the release of her husband.
Mrs Dzamara also wants an order compelling the police and other security agents to work with lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to search for the MDC-T activist.
In this case, she wants the team to conduct searches at all holding cells and centres for the Central Intelligence Organisation and military police and to report progress of search to the High Court by 10am on each day until his whereabouts have been determined.
“In the event that respondents deny knowledge of Itai Dzamara’s whereabouts the respondents do all things necessary to determine his whereabouts including advertising within 12 hours of granting of this order on all State media including all radio stations, ZTV, The Herald and the Chronicle,” reads part of the draft order.
Sheffra listed Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, State Security Minister (no longer existing), Police Commissioner-General Chihuri and CIO director-general Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe as respondents.
The matter is expected to be heard today before Justice David Mangota. Sheffra is represented by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni law firm.
On Wednesday, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa also said Government would institute full investigations into the alleged disappearance of Dzamara.
This came as rowdy MDC-T activists assaulted and injured two police officers on Wednesday, deployed to contain an illegal demonstration at Parliament over the disappearance of Dzamara .
The alleged disappearance dominated Parliament’s question time on Wednesday as MDC-T legislators demanded to know what Government was doing about it.
In responding to one of the questions, VP Mnangagwa said Government condemned the alleged abduction that he described as “barbaric” and said State machinery would be put in motion to bring those responsible to book.
“We are exceedingly concerned about the matter that has been reported in the media. Whoever is responsible must be brought to book and I can assure you that the police will do everything to ensure that those responsible are brought to book,” said VP Mnangagwa, who is also Leader of the House.