Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed, Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world commemorate.

According to the United Nations, the right to the truth is often invoked in the context of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law.

The relatives of victims of summary executions, enforced disappearance, missing persons, abducted children, torture, require to know what happened to them.

The right to the truth implies knowing the full and complete truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.

For Zimbabwe, the day comes at the time the nation is still stuck over the enforced disappearance of journalist-cum human rights activist, Itai Dzamara.

Dzamara was abducted on 9 March 2015 by five men while he was at a barber shop in Harare’s Glen View suburb. His abductors are said to have accused him of stealing cattle before handcuffing him, forcing him into a white truck with concealed number plates and driving off. He has not been seen since then, and there are fears for his safety.

He was allegedly abducted by state security agents for his criticism of the government and calling for late former president Robert Mugabe to step down, alleging he had misgoverned the once bread basket of Southern Africa.

Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was Vice President then, told the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva in 2016 that the government was actively pursuing the search for Itai. However, the government has failed to give regular updates on the search efforts for the activist, despite a court order issued in 2016 instructing it to do so.