Stop succession debate: Zanu-PF warns cadres

Source: Stop succession debate: Zanu-PF warns cadres | The Herald June 7, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
THE quasi-political NGO community in Zimbabwe planned to use MDC-T activist-cum-journalist Itai Dzamara as a rallying point to accuse the Government of alleged human rights abuses among other undemocratic practices, it has emerged.

The opposition MDC-T and its allies have long hankered for a tragic, heroic figure around whom to rally anti-Government sentiment, a development that saw them initially try to use former MDC-T spokesperson Learnmore Judah Jongwe who died in remand prison after stabbing his nursing wife eight times with a kitchen knife.

Jongwe, however, proved to be a polarising figure given the nature of the crime he stood accused of, a development — analysts said — saw the opposition try to make a giant out of Itai Dzamara, whose lonesome show in Africa Unity Square drew only curious glances.

Documents in our possession show that the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) — a grouping of anti-Government NGOs — engaged a consultant to identify artistes to do Dzamara artwork that they intended to use to lobby Western governments to tar and feather Zimbabwe for alleged human rights abuses, abductions and absence of rule of law in Zimbabwe.

Itai’s brother, Patson released a grainy picture of an effigy that he claimed was Itai at a press conference in Harare last week.

The release of the effigy, that was plomped at the bottom of a staircase, insiders said, was meant to coincide with the Occupy Africa Unity Square Movement’s planned 16 day demonstration in Africa Unity Square.

The planned vigil has since been a spectacular flop.

At the press conference, Patson claimed without providing evidence that his brother was abducted by military intelligence, a claim that has since been dismissed by the Zimbabwe National Army.

A memo by CiZC programmes manager, Ms Memory Kadau to CiZC acting director, Mr McDonald Lewanika dated May 6, 2015, read: “This memo serves to inform you that the programs department, after a thorough search and adjudication process finally commissioned black Phar-l and Ropafadzo Mutemeri to do the Itai Dzamara artwork, which shall be used locally and regionally as a lobby tool on the state of human rights and absence of rule of law in Zimbabwe.

“The artwork will also reflect non-respect of constitutionalism by the Government of Zimbabwe through enforced disappearances. “

The non-governmental organisation committed to pay $3 000 for the artwork.

Sources who spoke to The Herald said the release of the effigy purported to be Itai by his brother on Monday last week, was meant to coincide with the Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign staged by activists from the Zimbabwe Activists’ Alliance, Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance and members of the Occupy Africa Unity Square Movement that started on Wednesday contrary to claims by coordinator of the event, Ms Lynette Mudehwe that they wanted it to coincide with the day of the African Child that is commemorated on June 16 every year.

Political analyst and lawyer, Mr Tendai Toto said it was clear that the two events were stage-managed.

“This is an event that is created to justify resumption of campaigns on the matter in order to put more pressure to Government authorities to employ more efforts to investigate the disappearance of Dzamara.

“It is unfair to Dzamara himself wherever he is, to dramatise his life and liberty. This mocks his right to life and dignity,” said Mr Toto.

Another political analyst, Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki said the release of the effigy and the Occupy Africa Unity Square was posturing meant to draw attention for monetary gains.

“Instead of being anti-Government they should come up with real issues about how challenges of development can be addressed.

“Playing politics like in this case will be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. We respect the dignity of human life but in this case, these people have proved that they can sell their grandmothers to make money. Nothing can stop them from selling Dzamara to make money. In fact, they have proved that they know where he is.

“These people are just trying to raise their profiles because they have nothing to offer by way of ideas,”

Ms Mudehwe yesterday said: “The occupation is about the plight of the suffering Zimbabweans that the Government must address and not about individuals. We saw the pictures in the media like everyone else.”

Patson said: “There is nothing to say on that. There is no relationship between the two.”

Itai was reported missing last year in March with his family saying he was abducted by three male adults who entered a barbershop where he had gone to have a haircut in Harare and advised him that he was under arrest for stocktheft.

Readers have, however, grown increasingly sceptical of the abduction story given the readiness with which the family, MDC-T and western governments have sought to profit from the alleged disappearance.


  • comment-avatar
    R Judd 6 years ago

    Read this article and still think that The Herald is a “News Paper” then I feel sorry for you. The fellow who wrote this calls himself a “reporter”

  • comment-avatar
    TJINGABABILI 6 years ago


  • comment-avatar

    Of course a succession debate exists… Mugarbage is 90+ years old and will not live forever. Grow up.