We are all Itai Dzamara

Itai Dzamara

It is eight months since activist Itai Dzamara was allegedly abducted and he has not been seen or heard of since. Dzamara’s wife, Sheffra, made an impassioned plea for his return on Monday, saying her family had been reduced to beggars because of the absence of its breadwinner.

There have been several calls for the return of Dzamara, all drawing blanks so far, but it is imperative that as ordinary Zimbabweans, we do not tire out from demanding his return.

We all have a duty to hold the authorities to account and that government upholds the rights of all individuals, including the right to life.

Edmund Burke famously said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, hence we all have a civic duty to stand up and demand his return. It is not enough to mutter under our breaths and do nothing, we all have a voice and we should use it.

Many were not in agreement with the political route Dzamara chose, but this is not a partisan cause, rather it is a matter of principle. The government should guarantee the safety of every citizen, whether they support the ruling or opposition parties.


The same applies to the arrest of the Sunday Mail journalists last week. The newspaper has called us and other private media all sorts of names, but as a matter of principle, NewsDay and other media had to be united in one voice calling for their release and the decriminalisation of “writing falsehoods”.

Arrests of State media journalists are something of a rarity and this seemed only to be the preserve of the private media, but this was not a time to gloat, but rather to unite and show that once you fall foul of authorities, the tables are turned quickly.

Instead of narrowing in on our differences, it is important that we focus on what unites us as Zimbabweans and what we want to achieve as a country.

Dzamara may have thrown his lot with one political party. However, what matters and what is important now is that he is a Zimbabwean and every Zimbabwean’s life must be protected, whether we like that person or not.

We should not pretend that Dzamara’s disappearance is not our problem, because if he could be abducted and can go missing for this long, what guarantee does anyone have that they will not fall victim of the same circumstances?

We are not accusing the State and authorities of abducting him; rather we are imploring them to do all in their power to make sure he is found and brought back to his family.

To borrow from Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller and to make his quote more relevant to our situation, we can say: “When they came for vendors, we didn’t speak up, because we were not vendors. When they came for State media journalists, we didn’t speak out, because we didn’t work for the State media. When they came for Dzamara, we didn’t speak out, because we are not Dzamara. When they came for us, there was no one left to speak out.”

Thus, we all have a duty to speak for each other and protect each other. We owe it to each other as Zimbabweans.

We should not be defined by what we choose to say or who we associate ourselves with, but rather by the fact that we call Zimbabwe home.


    • People often repeat the mistake of attributing his disappearance to some suspected scapegoats, that does not help at all in the course to locate him because if the perceived suspects are really innocent in this case then those responsible for his disappearance feel safe, rather where the is no evidence it is only some sincere search that every citizen should do. Separating Zimbabweans on party lines complicates the case in many ways, Dzamara was not a strong and well known activist until he hogged the limelight when he was abducted. People should not say if someone was of a certain denomination then it is only those who belong to that congregation who are aggrieved and that the perpetrators are from opposing churches, rather all churches should feel welcome to partake in the search.
      The method being implemented in Dzamara’s search automatically oust others and portrays it as a party affair yet even Tsvangirai did not know of him until the media reported about his missing.

  1. GOD knows where these guys where this man is. nothing hidden that will not be exposed not at all especially for a country which has gone through a lot like Zim. HE is a GOD of wrath yet of grace. His grace is saying now, you guys who are responsible I AM giving you time to repent so that those affected can cry and rest. HIS wrath and withdrawl of protection may make you go mad, or even lose all your possessions. Some of these mad guys we see on the streets have a story to tell, some like this one of itai.

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  3. Well all people are crying for one though with different utterance, let us pray without a knowledge of who abducted him,let us say to God, ‘we are desperate please intervene’ I tell you our God will pull him out.Let us not forget those multitude of Nigerian ladies who was abducted by known notorious Islamic group.

  4. Pse stop insulting decent and peace loving normal Zimbabweans by equating them to Dzamara
    the idiot. That man was just an idiotic opportunist who tried to seek relevance and feed his family through politics of hook and crook. Many Zimbabweans do not even know who the idiot is, and yet embassies were scuppering making a lot of noise about this nonentity. The idiot once claimed Air force jets were sent to bomb him whilst he was staging a one man demonstration at Africa Unity Square, can you imagine? Then you want to waste our time about such a harmless and useless lunatic.

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