MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa Thursday blamed the state for the death of the late political activist, Patson Dzamara, who succumbed to cancer of the colon in Harare yesterday.
The activist passed on this week a few days after he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and was due for surgery. He was 34.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of the late activists, Chamisa fuelled public speculation that the state might have an underhand into his death as he alleged that he might have been poisoned during one of the several times, he was arrested and brutalized by state agents.
“Dzamara did not just die, he died because this was planned,. If you are critical of the government in this country, you will meet your fate. When he would demonstrate against the regime, they were targeting him,” Chamisa said.
He further stated that during the Government of National Unity Days, he had trust issues with the late President Robert Mugabe’s regime and he would not eat at government factions.
Chamisa said also warned the late Morgan Tsvangirai against eating at government functions and ironically, the founding MDC president succumbed to same cancer that killed Dzamara.
“I would tell him (Tsvangirai) to desist from eating at the same table with Mugabe’s ministers but he would not listen. When ZanuPF offers you food, do not eat because they want to end your life and that is what took Dzamara’s life,” Chamisa alleged.
Chamisa’s remarks come amid reports of human rights violations in Zimbabwe which have attracted the attention of the international community.
Youthful Opposition Leader said the nation should create young people like the late Dzamara who was vigilant in his political resolve.
The state is being accused of abusing its critics who include journalists, opposition members and human rights defenders.
The party’s Youth League chairperson, Obey Sithole said the passing on of Dzamara confirms that the health sector is a dilapidated state as he could not get the much-needed help.
“This vindicates our position as a party that our health system is in bad state. it is so folly to lose lives on diseases that can be treated. A lot of people have recovered from cancer because the facilities are there but here in zimbabwe, it takes ages for one to have the diseases detected,” he said.
Patson Dzamara, died on Wednesday, according to Nelson Chamisa, leader of the MDC Alliance opposition party leader. Chamisa said he is “devastated” by the death of Dzamara, who was a member of the party’s executive.
Dzamara came into the public spotlight when he became the leading voice in the search for his brother, Itai, a journalist and activist who relentlessly challenged former president Robert Mugabe at a time when many Zimbabweans were afraid of confronting the ruler, who was toppled from power in 2017 and later died. The journalist, who was abducted from a barbershop in 2015, is still missing.
Some reports say itai, a journalist cum political activist, was abducted by suspected state security agents.
His whereabouts are still unknown.
Patson sought to seek justice for his brother and on several occasion held one-man demonstrations and in most cases, he would be locked up.
Dzamara famously walked up to Mugabe at an Independence Day event in 2016 holding a placard that said “Independent but not free. Where is my brother Itai?” Dzamara was whisked away by Mugabe’s security guards, who allegedly assaulted him.
Dzamara embarked on street protests and broadened his activism to include demands for democratic reforms and improved public health care. He was arrested and detained for his protests, which continued into President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule. Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe in 2019 and his rule has been marked by accusations of human rights abuses similar to those alleged during Mugabe’s tenure.
Dzamara’s death highlighted the challenges facing Zimbabwe’s health care system. Dzamara did not have enough money to pay for urgently needed surgery at a private facility when he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. Such surgery was not possible in Zimbabwe’s public health system which is plagued by widespread shortages and frequent strikes by doctors and nurses.
More than $14,000 had been raised for Dzamara and he was due for surgery when he died, said Nigel Chanakira, a local businessman who was part of the fundraising effort.