Documentary to ‘resurrect’ Dzamara

THE life of human rights activist Itai Dzamara — who disappeared without trace on March 9, 2015 — after staging solo demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s regime is set to be captured in a documentary to be released soon as the production team was now tying up loose ends.

BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

Itai Dzamara

Itai Dzamara

The journalist and activist’s brother Patson Dzamara, who is the project’s executive director, told NewsDay yesterday that the documentary was meant to outline Itai’s life, but with particular focus on the role he played as a political activist.

“The documentary is essentially an encapsulation of Itai Dzamara’s life story, although its mainstay is on his life as an activist,” he said, adding that it was a partnership with Amnesty International.

Partson said Itai was among the brave individuals, who dared the brutal regime and ushered in the current wave of the citizens’ movement under the banner of #ThisFlag following the disbanding of the Government of National Unity in 2013.

“Itai petitioned Mugabe in 2014 over what he perceived, as the government’s failure to run the affairs of the country. That led him to form the Occupy Africa Unity Square social movement. Under his leadership, Occupy Africa Unity Square staged many demonstrations during a time of political apathy,” he said.

Patson said daring the regime made him a marked man, paving the way for his “abduction by what we strongly believe to be State security agencies” and it was critical for his story to be told.

Patson, who will provide oversight on the project, however, said the documentary was not just about his brother but every Zimbabwean.

“Itai is now an emblematic figure and we are using his case study to set precedence in Zimbabwe regarding the rule of law and human rights,” he said.

Patson said the documentary was meant to inspire people to stand up for what is right regardless of the cost and to demonstrate the Zanu PF government’s failure to uphold fundamentals of human rights and the rule of law as provided for in the Zimbabwe Constitution.

He said there we still exploring possibilities of later turning the documentary into a movie.