Harare – President Robert Mugabe‘s government’s failure to find missing activist Itai Dzamara is just like the UK’s inability to stop its citizens slipping away to fight in Syria, Zimbabwe’s information minister argued on Tuesday.

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moyo

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Asked on Twitter why the authorities had not located Dzamara, who was abducted on March 9, Jonathan Moyo said: “For the same reasons the British government is not aware of hundreds… of its citizens who go to Syria despite security.”

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At least 500 British citizens are thought to have gone to fight in Syria, with some of them joining ISIS.

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Zimbabwean activist Dzamara, 35, was abducted from a barber’s shop in a Harare township by unidentified men and driven off in a vehicle with masked number plates.

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The opposition Movement for Democratic Change and many activists believe state agents are behind Dzamara’s disappearance, especially as the former journalist had been calling on the 91-year-old Mugabe to stand down.

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Dzamara had been previously assaulted by police.

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In comments broadcast this week, Moyo told a BBC interviewer that Dzamara’s disappearance “was obviously of concern to the government”.

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“People disappear every day… We have quite porous borders,” Moyo argued.

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A court order for police to search for Dzamara has yielded nothing, and his family now say they have hired a private investigator. Rumours circulate from time to time saying that the father-of-two has been found but nothing concrete has emerged.

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Visiting top US diplomat Steven Feldstein said last week that the US wanted “the facts” on Dzamara’s disappearance as soon as possible.

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Former MDC advisor Alex Magaisa tweeted on Tuesday: “1 man tried a protest. He was abducted & disappeared. Zimboz have just got on with their lives.”