- "The Missing Persons Act states that after two years there has got to be a declaration that somebody who has been missing is dead. We seem not to be seeing it being enforced by the Ministry of Home Affairs," said Mliswa.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
NORTON MP Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT) yesterday told Parliament that missing political activist Itai Dzamara, who was last seen on 9 March six years ago, must now be declared dead so that the family can be issued with his death certificate and move on.
Dzamara disappeared days after calling for Robert Mugabe to step down from power, and is widely believed to have been abducted by State security agents.
Speaking on a point of privilege in Parliament yesterday, Mliswa said the Missing Persons Act requires that a person who has been missing for two years be declared dead and his or her estate be dealt with accordingly.
“The Missing Persons Act states that after two years there has got to be a declaration that somebody who has been missing is dead. We seem not to be seeing it being enforced by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said Mliswa.
“I say this because on this day the 9th, six years ago that is when Itai Dzamara went missing. We have spoken about this many a times in Parliament and there was supposed to be a report back from the Executive pertaining to where the issue is.
“I thought about the mother and the wife yesterday to say for how long are they going to be in agony and I think it is about time it was brought to its logical conclusion.”
Mliswa said the Missing Persons Act also allows procedures to be taken and also the wind up of the estate of the person involved. He further demanded that President Mnangagwa’s Government be compelled to tell the nation what exactly happened to the prominent activist.
“It important that we also hear what has happened to that and it is an issue which the Second Republic would be more than happy to dispose of because it about us reforming and a lot of issues.
“I think it must get to a point where we say yes he is dead and they are given a death certificate. The estate is wound up and life moves on. We seem to be holding them on to something that they are not in control of.
“As Parliament, we must be seen to be representing everyone in terms of national interest and to many others who are in the same predicament as well, can it also see its end.”
Mliswa was close to the Dzamara family. For some years after Dzamara’s disappearance, Mliswa offered accommodation to Patson, brother to Itai, at his own property in Milton Park.
Patson died of cancer last year.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda responded to Mliswa’s plea saying Parliament will advise the Minister of Home Affairs, Kazembe Kazembe, to take “the necessary steps to have closure to this (Itai Dzamara death declaration) issue”. — Zimbabwe Voice 🔺