By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Harare, March 09, 2016 – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday led hundreds into a street march in central Harare to commemorate exactly a year since journalist and pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara was abducted.
The march, which was mostly attended by MDC-T followers and officials among them deputy president Thokozani Khuphe, was preceded by an event at the Africa Unity Square.
The venue is where the missing activist began his one man protests against “failed Mugabe” in October 2014.
Dzamara was seized by suspected state agents near his Glen View home in Harare after he had persisted with his campaigns even after enduring repeated police arrests and beatings.
A year on, nothing has been heard of him amid growing concerns from family and friends worse could have befallen the firebrand anti-Mugabe activist.
But addressing the crowd which was snubbed by politicians from other opposition parties, Tsvangirai demanded government should bring the matter around Dzamara’s disappearance to finality.
He further urged fellow Zimbabweans to do more than complain against injustice under the current Robert Mugabe led regime.
“For me, Itai Dzamara’s disappearance represents the unacceptable face of a government that just embarks on abducting people just because they have a different view,” said the former Prime Minister.
Tsvangirai said he was disappointed by those who failed to attend the event.
“Let’s remember this day and vow that never again such an eventuality happens because the Constitution is very clear about the right to demonstrate,” he said.
Tsvangirai spoke fondly about his past meetings with Dzamara adding that the activist showed strong disapproval of Zanu PF stealing the 2013 elections.
“I remember Itai Dzamara was knowledgeable about how the 2013 elections were rigged. My sympathy goes to his family especially his son whom he used to frequent my place with. I still remember that vividly,” he said.
Former Zanu PF chair for Mashonaland West Temba Mliswa also berated other opposition leaders for snubbing the event.
“We have many political parties that have come out in this country but they have not come to this occasion; that shows their insincerity on standing for people’s rights,” said Mliswa, who was the only opposition character who did not come directly from the MDC-T.
Mliswa also told MDC-T supporters to support their leader until he gets into government.
Wednesday’s event was also attended by Dzamara’s family members who included his younger brother Patson, who has led a media campaign for his release.
The march started from the square heading for the Rotton Row area close to the Zanu PF headquarters.
Business came to a standstill in the city centre as fellow members of the public jostled to see the MDC-T officials leading the procession.
The placards which were carried were demanding the return of Dzamara while also denouncing Mugabe.
Ben Freeth, a white former commercial farmer and leader of a campaign for the compensation of fellow white farmers who lost their land under President Mugabe’s government was also part of the gathering.