Former cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has accused Vice President, Retired General Constantino Chiwenga of being behind the disappearance of human rights activist Itai Dzamara in 2015. Moyo, who was forced to flee the country and go into exile after the fall of former president Robert Mugabe in November last year has been attacking President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces accusing them of staging a coup against Mugabe’s administration.
Moyo has been relegated to using Twitter for his communication to the people of Zimbabwe, as he is reportedly on the wanted list. As the third anniversary to mark the disappearance of the missing human rights defender approaches, Moyo has alleged that Itai Dzamara was abducted by the Military Intelligence Directorate which was under the overall command of General Chiwenga who was the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), until his recent retirement to take up politics. Moyo also accused Mohadi of being complicit in Dzamara’s abduction and demanded that President Mnangagwa and his two deputies should explain what happened to Dzamara. Writing on Twitter, Moyo said
In March 2015 Mohadi told Government (that) Dzamara was likely abducted and taken out of Zim in a staged antiGovernment plot. That March ED (Mnangagwa) told Parly ZRP were after culprits. It later transpired Dzamara was abducted by MID under Chiwenga, now VP with Mohadi. So ED and his VPs must ACCOUNT!
Ironically, when he was still a government minister Moyo initially dismissed the allegations that Dzamara had been abducted saying that he had probably slipped out through Zimbabwe’s notoriously porous borders. In a BBC Hardtalk interview Moyo said:
People disappear every day and you mention one person, but in fact, we have quite some porous borders. A lot of people cross borders without our knowing.
He also tweeted:
Those who say Itai Dzamara was abducted should prove their claims or be charged for creating alarm and despondency.
However, almost a year later he expressed regret for his statements and elaborated on his remarks on Twitter saying:
On Dzamara, while a lot has been said, including by me, the scary and indubitable fact is that he was abducted in broad daylight. So yes, it’s regrettable that I have said things that have unfortunately conflated and confused a missing person with an abducted person.
He stressed that Dzamara had been abducted although he refused to state who was behind the abduction. Speaking to the daily publication, NewsDay, Moyo added
…And my explanation was that I regret the fact that my comments conflated and confused the situation of a missing person with that of an abducted person. It is common cause that Dzamara did not go missing, but that he was taken away; that is, abducted in broad daylight and has not been seen since then. The distinction between a missing and an abducted person is important and I regret that my comments did not make that distinction clear.