By Dr. Patson Dzamara
FOR some strange reasons, I hardly get stopped at a road block. Today, being a Monday, I was stopped and I was indeed on the wrong side of the law.
Something remarkable happened. As the police officer was taking my details his countenance changed. He stopped writing and looked at me intently. The conversation we then had ignited within me an unprecedented level of hope for Zimbabwe.
The police officer said, “So you are the Patson Dzamara I read about in the papers?” For a moment, I thought I was in trouble.
“I am sorry about what happened to your brother,” he continued, “I have honestly prayed for you several times. Your courage inspires me and know that we are with you in your fight for a better Zimbabwe.”
For an individual like me who has experienced police brutality first hand, my default posture towards them is one premised on detest. I have always stated that one of the tools President Robert Mugabe has relied on to entrench his misrule and to oppress Zimbabweans is the police force and it is imperative for us to demystify them on our way to a better Zimbabwe.
Just last week, it was confirmed that I suffered a permanent injury on my left wrist as a result of the torture I went through at the hands of the police. I have never viewed those people as my friends. I am sure most of you harbour the same sentiment.
We spoke about a lot of things concerning Zimbabwe. The last question I asked the police officer was why he is still a part of a system he considers bad. His response got me thinking far and wide.
He said, “My brother, I am hopeful that one day things will change in Zimbabwe and for us to get there and when we get there you need people like me.”
He continued, “We know the system. We know what is bad and what is good. We know that most of you (activists) detest us and you have every reason to but there is a remnant from within this evil system. I am one of those and you need us.”
I paid my fine and proceeded with my journey.
For over two hours, I have been ruminating over the conversation I had with that police officer and I am inspired. At times we are tempted to believe that our national situation is irretrievable but I realise that all hope is not lost.
Fellow Zimbabweans, there is hope for our nation. We will win against oppression. We will win against poverty. We will win against corruption. We will win against leadership failure.
The oppressor can, will and must fall.
Dr. Patson Dzamara is an author, leadership coach and human rights activist who is writing in his personal capacity. For feedback, use email; patsondzamara8gmail.com