- U.S. ambassador Harry Thomas Jnr meets journalists
United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry Thomas Jnr has expressed hope that Itai Dzamara, the kidnapped and missing anti-Mugabe activist is alive and urged his unknown captors –believed to be state security agents – to release him.
Addressing journalists in Harare Thursday, Thomas said Dzamara should be released and charged if he was being held in state custody.
The statement was seen as a veiled accusation against the regime of Robert Mugabe, accused of kidnapping Dzamara on March 9 2016 after he sent the dictator a petition calling on him to resign for failing to run the economy. It was also seen as a threat to future aid supplies to Zimbabwe. Western governments have abandoned re-engagement talks with Harare until Dzamara is found.
- Dzamara (in striped shirt) is arrested by police
“They tell us that they are looking for Dzamara. I think Dzamara needs to be found, needs to be released if the government or somebody wants to charge him. My understanding is that he was doing non-violent protest, I very much hope he is alive,” Thomas Jnr said.
The ambassador praised Dzamara’s brother Patson Dzamara, who was arrested this week for leading prayers in support of his brother.
“His brother participated in a march on March 1 and he has become a symbol for all of us especially for his Zimbabwean colleagues for non-violent protest,” the ambassador said.
Ambassador Thomas Jr met local journalists in Harare to discuss U.S.- Zimbabwe Relations. The wide ranging discussion covered U.S. support to Zimbabwe including accountability in the management of aid programs, human rights and economic issues. Thomas Jr. expressed optimism about the future of Zimbabwe noting that his recent visits to Bulawayo, Gwanda and several events in Harare showed Zimbabweans are capable of finding solutions to local challenges. But more important, he said, their determination to educate their children showed their determination and faith in the future of Zimbabwe.
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