The Sunday Mail
As democratic and law-abiding citizens of Zimbabwe try to unravel the mystery surrounding the alleged disappearance of journalist-cum-political opposition activist Itai Dzamara, while at the same time commiserating with his family, they are saddened by the spirit of opportunism being demonstrated by MDC-T’s leadership.
MDC-T has been quick to lay the blame on Zanu-PF and the country’s security forces.
There appears to be a deliberate ploy by the opposition to seek political mileage from the misfortunes of a man whose family ought to be finding solace from the embrace of our commiseration as a nation and concerted efforts to find him.
The stance by MDC-T is reminiscent of the Mozambique and Russia incidents where the governments were blamed for the deaths of opposition critics Giles Cistac and Vladimir Nemstov, respectively.
Cistac, a Mozambican constitutional lawyer and academic, was last week gunned down by unknown assailants in that country; while Russia’s Nemstov, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot and killed two weeks ago near the Kremlin.
It was later discovered that Nemstov’s killers were in no way linked to the Kremlin.
That Zaur Dadayev, who confessed to have murdered Nemstov, has recanted his confession as torture-induced, could be explained as an attempt to escape the dire consequences of conviction.
Despite embarrassment from the Russian experience, the same Western bloc led by the EU, US and Australia have been quick to blame Harare for the alleged abduction of Dzamara without paying attention to detail.
This is despite assurances by the Zimbabwe Republic Police that the force was leaving no stone unturned to establish Dzamara’s whereabouts.
The lawlessness that pervades the local opposition has seen some misguided elements there from taking to the streets in central Harare and in the process, assaulting and injuring a female police officer on duty in scenes sadly reminiscent of the Glen View incident that resulted in the murder of Inspector Petros Mutedza.
One would have hoped that the same elements would have massed in their numbers to assist the police in their investigations, but nay, their brief was to precipitate civil discord.
Nevertheless, Zimbabweans are humbled by the manner in which the Zanu-PF Government has responded to both the mysterious disappearance of Dzamara and the barrage of accusations being levelled against it by MDC-T and its Western handlers.
Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also Zanu-PF Vice-President, strongly condemned the alleged abduction, describing it as a “barbaric” act while refusing to be drawn into politicisation of the matter.
“We are exceedingly concerned about the matter that has been reported in the media. Whoever is responsible must be brought to book and I can assure you that the police will do everything to ensure that those responsible are brought to book,” VP Mnangagwa reportedly said.
Kudos should also go to the Media Institute of Southern Africa and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists for demonstrating high levels of professionalism in the handling of the Dzamara matter.
Both Misa and ZUJ have officially distanced themselves from the Dzamara issue on the basis that he was no longer a practising journalist.
ZUJ was more emphatic, referring inquiries from Christina Peterson – an official with the United States-based International Committee for Protection of Journalists – on Dzamara to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Truth be told, the only declared enemies that Dzamara had before the day of his alleged abduction were some members of the recently formed National Youth Action Alliance (NYAA).
The group came into existence on February 7, 2015 amid pomp and fanfare in Harare and quickly disappeared as power struggles emerged.
On March 4, 2015 Gilbert Mutubuki, NYAA chair, wrote to Dzamara advising him of his suspension from the organisation on allegations of “speaking on behalf of organisations which are members of NYAA encouraging them to attend Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’ s rally at Zimbabwe Grounds.
“This was not according to the founding principles and core values of NYAA which is a non-partisan body seeking to unite people in their diversity”.
Despite receiving his suspension letter, Dzamara went ahead to organise members of NYAA to attend the MDC-T rally.
I am in no way suggesting that Mutubuki has the capacity to abduct Dzamara, but merely pointing out the power struggle in that organisation.
What if Dzamara’s “abduction” is a self-induced diversionary tactic to delay his pending hearing by NYAA in which chances of being dismissed are high?
In all these activities, where does Zanu-PF come in?
The only active players are MDC-T and the United Movement for Democratic Change. It is anyone’s guess as to which MDC Dzamara’s inclination lies.
Without being insensitive to Dzamara’s family, one would want to know what the failed journalist could have done to warrant Government’s attention as a threat to national security to the extent of “abducting” him, if ever they did!
Rugare Gumbo has been trying to destabilise Government from within and could be deemed a threat, yet he continues to enjoy the freedom that a democracy like Zimbabwe extends, both to friends and foes.
If truth be known, the Occupy Africa Unity Square self-proclaimed leader is an attention seeker who has failed to attract numbers.
His most recent demonstration in Harare attracted about 10 people.
More so, there are things that Dzamara has done in his previous life that reduce him to being a “con man”.
Ask Cde Philip Chiyangwa how the publication called News Leader in which Dzamara was the key person folded.
Dzamara was fired from Alpha Media’s Zimbabwe Independent on accusations of “appalling sloppiness in reporting” following a series of fabricated stories.
One such story was that Bostwana President Festus Mogae had privately met Morgan Tsvangirai in Victoria Falls.
At the time of his dismissal it is believed that he had also been stopped from making contributions to a South African-based Zimbabwe news site after his stories were questioned.
If Dzamara has previously done all this for the love of money and publicity, nothing could possibly stop him from authoring and starring in the script of his abduction!
By and large, the dramatisation of Dzamara’s “abduction” by the MDC-T exposes that party’s penchant for apportioning blame to both the State and Zanu-PF even before the police conduct investigations as proven by previous records.