By Alex Bell
12 February 2013
The search for an activist who disappeared a year ago is continuing, with friends, family and colleagues refusing to give up on him.
Paul Chizuze was last seen on the evening of February 8th last year, and there has been no confirmed trace of him ever since. Last July Chizuze’s car was reportedly found in Beitbridge with only a pair of his shoes inside.
A group of human rights organisations released a statement marking a year since Chizuze disappeared, under what they called “suspicious circumstances.”
“We remember with gratitude the values you stood for, the decades you committed to the pursuit of democracy, peace and justice in your country. We are still looking for you, alive or dead. We continue to search for the truth about the events that led to your disappearance,” the statement reads.
It is signed by the Solidarity Peace Trust, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the Matabeleland Civic Forum, the refugee rights group PASSOP, the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and nine other groups.
Fellow activists, friends and family have all tried to keep the matter in the spotlight, holding regular candlelight vigils and using social media tools to highlight his disappearance.
Chizuze was well known for his paralegal work with civic organizations like the Amani Trust. Over the last three decades he has been either employed by, or active with, the Legal Resources Foundation, Amani Trust Matabeleland, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, ZimRights, Churches in Bulawayo, CivNet, and Masakhaneni Trust.
He also worked closely with Senator David Coltart, the Education Minister, who has previously said that Chizuzue was targeted because he had “too much information” on the Gukurahundi genocide.