By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, June 01, 2016 – CONTROVERSIAL Zanu PF activist and musician, Energy Mutodi has issued an uncharacteristic apology over claims he made last year that missing pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara was faking his own abduction to gain cheap publicity.
Dzamara, a journalist, was seized by suspected state agents from a barbershop near his Harare home in March last year and nothing has been heard of him since.
During the period, Dzamara led some campaigns under the banner of his Occupy Africa Unity Square resistance initiative which was demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe for failed leadership.
As speculation swirled over his whereabouts, Mutodi was among some Zanu PF apologists who dismissed claims Dzamara was abducted and instead claimed the activist was hiding in Botswana.
Patson Dzamara, younger brother to Itai, on Monday released an image of a masked man being tortured at an undisclosed location and claimed his family had positively identified the character as the missing activist.
However, Mutodi has made a u-turn and toned down his rhetoric, further apologising to the Dzamaras for his utterances.
“Pictures showing Itai Dzamara, with the image suspected to be abducted MDC activist have today made a sad reading to most Zimbabweans,” he posted on his Facebook page.
“When the missing activist went missing, we all suspected it was a hoax by the MDC party to cause mayhem in the country and to precipitate an Arab-spring type of an uprising against the Mugabe government.”
Mutodi said the originator of his earlier claims was in fact, one Fidelis Fengu, another Zanu PF activist.
“After being advised by a fellow party activist Fidelis Fengu, I wrote a story here on my Facebook page that was publicised by the media to the effect that Itai was hiding in Botswana.
“Professor Jonathan Moyo also issued a statement saying that Itai had skipped the border to Mozambique adding that Zimbabwean borders were porous,” he said.
Mutodi said he had shared new information on the whereabouts of the activist with Patson Dzamara and the police.
“However, a few months later, I received further information that disapproved the earlier report by Fidelis Fengu.
“I shared the information with the police and with DR Patson Dzamara. I could not share that information with the public because it remains under police investigation,” added the Cape Town University PHD candidate.
Mutodi also said that he had been touched by the said images of the activist being tortured.
“The images of Itai are disturbing and I personally wish a safe return of Itai from wherever he is. I also regret my post on March 14 as I later realised it was a creation of one of our fellow activists Fidelis,” he added.