'Welcome to my new normal'... Sentenced Zim activist chronicles grim community service with upbeat posts

2017-07-06 11:53
Patson Dzamara (Via Facebook)

Patson Dzamara (Via Facebook) (Patson Dzamara )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - A prominent activist in Zimbabwe is chronicling his unpaid work as a labourer at the Harare Magistrates’ Court with thoughtful posts on Facebook

Patson Dzamara was last week sentenced to do 315 hours of community service for "obstructing the course of justice".

'Working for the nation'

On day one on Monday he posted a picture of himself raking up litter.

"Welcome to my new normal. For the next two months, I will be working for the 'nation' from 8am to 4pm every week day. Isn’t our government good?," wrote Dzamara.

"Zimbabweans, subtract 1 ‘job’ from the 2.2 million jobs your government promised."

The next day he posted a picture of himself in blue overalls and plastic gloves, holding a toilet brush and a bottle of detergent.

"I have made the bewildering discovery that the male toilets are actually generally cleaner than those for females," he noted with grim amusement. 

See pictures below.

Patson is the outspoken brother of Itai Dzamara, an anti-government protester snatched two years ago by unknown men from a Harare barber’s shop in broad daylight.

Since then Patson has proved himself a thorn in the flesh of President Robert Mugabe’s government through his tireless demands over the whereabouts of his brother.

The community service imposed on Dzamara and co-accused Makomborero Haruzivishe, a student leader, stem from a peaceful protest they staged in Harare a year ago.

'Break their spirits'

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said on Wednesday the imposition of community service appeared to be a new attempt to cow activists.

"There appears to be a new strategy of negatively profiling activists using court convictions on trumped up charges," it said in a statement.

Earlier this year another activist, Linda Masarira, was sentenced to do 385 hours.

"This is a new attempt at giving activists a bad profile as a way to break their spirits," ZimRights director Okay Machisa said. "We are obviously worried by this development."

Nevertheless, Dzamara appears unsubdued.

A new Zimbabwe

Wednesday’s Facebook post showed him with three street kids he met on his way to "work". He said each one had a dream: to be a doctor, a farmer, a driver.

"They too must be accorded an opportunity to realise those dreams. It is hard to imagine under the current situation but it is very possible in a new Zimbabwe," he wrote.

With more than 200 hours of ‘work’ still to go, Dzamara will have plenty of time for dreams of his own. 

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  itai dzamara  |  patson dzamara  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.