This week marked exactly two years since the death of a young passionate, charismatic and patriotic human rights champion Patson Dzamara who succumbed to colon cancer on 26th August 2020.
A lot has been missing in the revolutionary space since then with a number of aspiring rights activists either petrified to face the nefarious ZANU PF regime or floating in the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.
It is utterly painful to have a person of Dr Patson Dzamara dying at the ripe age of 34, especially when a lot had been expected of him by his family and the nation at large.
Dzamara rose to public stardom when he became the leading voice in the search for his brother Itai, a journalist and activist who relentlessly challenged the late former President Robert Mugabe at a time when many Zimbabweans feared confronting the leader.
Itai Dzamara, who was abducted from a hair salon in 2015 is still missing to this day and to imagine that his young brother Patson had to die without finding answers to this enigma is gut-wrenching.
Here are some highlights of activities by Patson Dzamara:
Famous Independence Day Protest
Patson Dzamara approached then President Robert Mugabe at an Independence Day event in 2016 at the National Sports Stadium, holding a placard that read, “Independent but not free. Where is my brother Itai?” Dzamara was kidnapped by Mugabe’s security forces who allegedly assaulted him but that didn’t deter him from fighting for human rights.
Series of Protests
Dzamara held a series of street protests and expanded its activism to include calls for democratic reform and improved public health care becoming the rare voice of reason. He was arrested and imprisoned for his protests which included daily sit-ins in the capital holding a placard that read “Failed Mugabe Must Step Down”. The protests continued under President Emmerson Mnangagwa who succeeded Mugabe in November 2019 through a military coup. Mnangagwa’s reign has been marred by a number of human rights abuses worse than those made during Mugabe’s tenure.
Education and Books
Patson Dzamara earned an MBA in Administration from Zimbabwe Open University and a PhD in Strategic Management from Christ University in India. Beyond his academic prowess, he established himself as an accomplished author and published several books, including The Winning Team, The Leadership Door, Finish What You Start, The Anatomy of Process and The Development Matrix among others.
The brilliant boy from Mutoko in Mashonaland East, Patson Dzamara was passionate about leadership that he went on to establish a group called Off The Hook Group, which facilitated those aspiring to pursue roles in leadership. He was also an executive member of the Movement for Democratic for Change then led by Nelson Chamisa (now leads Citizens Coalition for Change). Patson was also a devout Christian and was often seen in videos a number of times with Chamisa embarking on a spiritual discourse.