The Sunday Mail
Some adults strive for attention and pay any price to get it.
Such people can do anything, even lying, just to get attention. Attention-seeking behaviour (ASB) can be described as Munchausen Syndrome.
Munchausen Syndrome is a personality disorder which is very common, especially in the so-called pro-democracy forces in Zimbabwe.
This syndrome, named after a German soldier renowned for exaggerated tales, is a predominantly female disorder in which an emotionally immature person with narcissistic tendencies, low self-esteem and a fragile ego has an overwhelming need to draw attention to oneself.
This has now manifested in many people in civil society. Closer home, it can be described as the “Madhuku Strategy/Syndrome”.
If as a child the person did not receive much attention from his/her parents or peers, then he/she may grow up feeling neglected.
These feelings will then be the main driving force behind the person’s ASB.
In the case of Munchausen Syndrome, this is achieved by capitalising on, exploiting, exaggerating or feigning illness or injury or personal misfortune.
The opportunities for being the centre of attention can be increased if feigning victimhood through alleged victimisation, isolation, exclusion or persecution is added to the equation.
The Munchausen person can then depict another person (in our case Government, CIO, ZRP or Zanu-PF) as a victimiser or persecutor and on self as the victim. Presenting him/herself as a false victim is a Munchausen trait.
Last week, Itai Dzamara was not as known as he is today.
Now because of his ASB, he is viral on social media and some of us now know this name and even the picture of the man.
Itai Dzamara is an unemployed and unemployable journalist who is heading an organisation called Occupy Africa Unity Square in the hope that President Mugabe will resign. In his wisdom or lack of it, he hopes the President will listen to a nonentity like him and leave office.
The President was given a five-year mandate on July 31, 2013 and voters expect him to deliver on election promises and do not need the likes of Dzamara to disturb him.
Dzamara suffers from Munchausen syndrome as exhibited by the stunt he and his colleagues have pulled by making him out to be larger than he is.
A person who suffers from this syndrome can do anything just to get attention.
The story of a body being found at the Goromonzi turn-off has proved to be false and malicious, though Dzamara must have, no doubt, enjoyed his small time of fame.
The so-called independent media went to town with the story and even MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai – in a bid to seek relevance – hastily called a Press conference to blast the CIO and Government without any shred of evidence on what really happened to Dzamara.
It is a well-know fact that Dzamara tried to launch a newspaper called the News Leader and failed dismally. He has now resorted to the Madhuku strategy for survival; first with the occupy movement and now this.
It is also a fact that he is an MDC-T activist who – typical of his party – thrives on lies to stay relevant and gain sympathy, especially from donors.
His failure to launch a newspaper and subsequent lack of funds has propelled him to seek relevance.
His latest stunt is nothing but an effort to gain relevance and direct media attention to his failed organisation.
Of interest is how the so-called kidnappers or the “unknown assailants” are being labelled Zanu-PF members and CIO agents, and how Tsvangirai also fingered Zanu-PF without presenting any evidence to back up his claims.
But then again Dzamara was at MDC-T’s rally in Harare’s Highfield suburb at the weekend where calls for mass demonstrations were made.
Dzamara gave a solidarity message at the gathering.
Tsvangirai and Dzamara have been calling for mass protest for some time now and this message was repeated at the rally. The whole Dzamara issue is being used to trigger unrest.
It is unfortunate that some in our midst, especially social media users, can be hoodwinked easily by such political failures.
If there are those who know what happened to Dzamara, why is this information not being presented to the police?
The so-called Occupy group went to the extent of publishing the registration number of the “assailants’ vehicle” and the make. Why not take the information to the Central Vehicle Registry via the police and let the ownership of the vehicle be proven?
Making unsubstantiated claims is characteristic of MDC-T and its off-shoots, the “pro-democracy forces”.
They always cry wolf to attract media and donor attention. This attention-seeking behaviour must stop.
Why not allow the police to do their work? A person is reported missing after 48 hours, but here Tsvangirai calls a Press conference in less than 24 hours.
Munchausen syndrome sufferers like Dzamara and Tsvangirai must not take Zimbabweans for fools.