The Sunday Mail
THREE Zimbabweans are feared dead after they went missing in the war-ravaged Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique with the Government making frantic efforts to account for them.
An Islamic insurgency against the government of Mozambique started three years ago and has killed over 3,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Mr Livit Mugejo on Friday said the Government is ratcheting up efforts to locate the missing trio who vanished in March when insurgents attacked the town of Palma.
“Yes, l can confirm that three civilians have been missing in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Their relatives approached the Ministry for assistance last week. The Government is deeply worried that its citizens are missing. We are doing everything possible to locate the missing Zimbabweans,” Mr Mugejo said.
He said the ongoing conflict in the area has made it difficult to locate for the missing Zimbabweans.
“Fortunately, SADC has troops fighting the rebels in the area and has registered some significant successes. We hope the area will be liberated soon and we will be able to account for our nationals,” Mr Mugejo said.
“In the meantime, the Government is liaising with the Mozambican government through our Embassy in Maputo and the Embassy of Mozambique in Harare to make sure that the missing people are accounted for. The Government wishes to take this opportunity to urge all Zimbabweans based abroad to register with their nearest embassies to make it easier for the Government to trace and assist them in times of crisis.”
The three are not the first Zimbabweans to go missing in the war torn region after another local, Mr Nyasha Mugwagwa, went missing in March after a raid by the Islamic insurgents in Palma.
Mr Mugwagwa was later confirmed dead in April. A Zimbabwean businesswoman and her young sister are believed to be prisoners of the insurgents.
Mrs Mariana Fransisco and her younger sister, Mrs Monica Louis, were captured by militants on March 27.
Their family is pleading with the Mozambique and Zimbabwe governments to facilitate their safe release.