Zim gvt critic Dzamara dies

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Munashe Rungano

Zimbabwean human rights activist Patson Dzamara, who is the young brother to abducted and slain journalist and opposition activist Itai Dzamara, has died.

Patson succumbed to cancer of the colon.

Patson was a well-known campaigner for the return of his brother, Itai, who has been missing since 2015. Before his disappearance, Itai had been a vicious critic of then president, the late Robert Mugabe and was subjected to harassment by the authorities.

The Mugabe administration at the time, denied any involvement in Dzamara’s disappearance and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has maintained that position.

His death comes days after a campaign was started to help him raise money for surgery.

More than US$14 000 had been raised by well-wishers to cover the costs for his operation after his cancer diagnosis was made public a few weeks ago.

Patson died on Wednesday morning ahead of his scheduled cancer operation.

News of Patson’s death was confirmed by close friend and opposition MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa. Writing on social media, Chamisa said he was devasted by Patson‘s death.

Just received bad news from the Dzamara’s. 2020 is indeed a terrible year,” Chamisa said.

Norton legislator Themba Mliswa said: “I am devasted. l had prepared your accommodation for your fiancée and mother for your return home. l was confident you would be back and they’d assist in your convalescence.

This is unbelievable such talent and potential gone.”

Former Information minister Jonathan Moyo said: “This is impossible to fathom, absent your revelation. May your divine grace comfort the Dzamara family in this most difficult time”.

Former Zanu PF political commissar Savior Kasukuwere said: “Humble, dedicated and a brace fighter you have departed at a time of great pain in our country”.

Sungura ace, Alick Macheso said: “Really gutted by the sad passing of this brother. A passionate Mberikwazvo fan”.

Dendera musician Sulumani Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah also sent condolence messages to the Dzamara family.

Patson’s death comes at a time when the Zimbabwean government is facing heavy criticism over its heavy handedness on political activists and journalists.

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