The Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) diverted $100 000 set up by Western embassies and agencies to hold public rallies across the country in support of political activist and journalist Itai Dzamara, who disappeared after calling for street protests to remove president Robert Mugabe from office.
Sources said each of the party’s 12 provinces had been allocated $5 000 for transport and logistics by the European Union and other Western governments. The plan was that people from across the country would gather in Harare for a ‘showdown rally’ at Gwanzura stadium, where Dzamara made the famous call in March for youths to take to the streets in protest against the dictatorship, just two days before he was manhandled in a shop and forced to disappear.
Tsvangirai instead directed that the money be used for general party expenses and to cover debts which have seen some offices being shut and services being cut off. Diplomats and aid agency officials involved in raising the funds are furious that Tsvangirai held a lacklustre rally at Gwanzura and virtually abandoned the Dzamara campaign.
Western officials told Now Daily that they wanted to use the Dzamara issue as a ‘test case’ on human rights observance in Zimbabwe. They wanted to use it potentially as a spark to trigger widespread revolution but this has failed due to lack of “honest and dedicated leadership” in the main opposition MDC-T, the Western sources said.
Apparently, some MDC-T officials have been approaching embassies and NGOs asking for assistance, claiming it is for Dzamara’s family, only to convert it to their own uses.
Dzamara was leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square protest group. He was abducted near his home in Glen View 7, Harare on March 9 2015 and has not been seen since then. Some senior MDC-T leaders are claiming that Dzamara is dead and there is no need to ‘waste’ resources on him. No evidence has been provided about Dzamara’s death despite the numerous stories circulating on social media. Dzamara’s family believes he is still alive but might be in captivity. Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba cynically suggested he had fled to another country.
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