By Buhle Tshavango
Academic cum activist Dr Patson Dzamara has castigated ordinary Zimbabweans and online activists who have largely used social media platforms to voice their grievances against the government but failed to translate this into action. These developments come after Dzamara held a one man demo outside parliament building last week.
On the day of the demo he was clad in a jacket bearing the national flag colours despite the June ruling by speaker of national assembly Jacob Mudenda against private use of the national flag.
To complement his statement he was holding and placard written, “I WILL NEVER BE SILENT UNTIL ITAI DZAMARA IS ACCOUNTED FOR. I WILL NEVER BE SILENT UNTIL ZIMBABWE IS FIXED #BBID (Bring Back Itai Dzamara) #LETS FIX ZIMBABWE”
Dzamara’s demonstration was short lived as it coincided with the National Assembly sitting for its weekly question time; he was quickly apprehended and whisked away by parliamentary security staff.
Dzamara later took to social media to express how such demonstrations would work better if more people participated.
“…I shouldn’t be standing there alone. How about 1 000, 10 000, 100 000 and even a million of us get to transmute our anger and passion into action? Yes, that anger we generously and passionately display on social media.
Yes, there is power in peaceful action and there is power in numbers too. That’s why we need everyone to plug in and get onto the ground.
Zimbabweans we can do this. Let’s do away with fear. Let’s confront this evil regime head on”, he said.
Dzamara took a swipe at most of the people who have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction saying hashtags alone were not enough.
“I was arrested today, detained for over 6 hours, cautioned and released for demonstrating in front of Parliament. If I can do it because I am unhappy, everyone who is unhappy with the way this country is being run and ranting on social media can and must do it too.
I have always posted that a marriage between online and offline processes is what will take us through to the Promised Land. Hashtags alone won’t take us through. Our meaningless analysis mode and inclination towards romancing trivia won’t take us through. Action will, “he said.
This is not the first solo demo the activist has had, he once held another earlier this year on Independence Day where President Robert Mugabe was billed to officiate the event. The solo demos have been initiated with the chief aim of pressuring government into finding his Journalist cum brother, Itai Dzamara who was taken in March 2015 by unknown men never to be seen again along with the deteriorating state of the country.