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More chaos rocks Unity Square activists

09 Jun 2016 at 07:00hrs | Views
CHAOS has erupted among a group of activists carrying out a Western-sponsored anti-government protest in Harare's Africa Unity Square dubbed #16DaysOccupation (June 1-16), as the leader of the initiative, Lynette Tendai Mudehwe, was yesterday ousted from the campaign.

Our Harare Bureau reported yesterday that the handful of opposition-linked activists were sharply divided over donor money that had been dangled by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the umbrella body of local western-sponsored organisations and pressure groups, and was also rocked by personality clashes.

Mudehwe was involved with Patson Dzamara in a tussle for control of the campaign, leading to a harsh exchanges of words, accusations and counter-accusations.

Dzamara is the brother to Itai, a journalist-turned-activist who came up with the original anti-government "Occupy Africa Unity Square movement" idea, which flopped before he withdrew from public in what the opposition — searching for a tragic hero to rally anti-government sentiment — claims to be an abduction.

The younger Dzamara has sought to patent protests resembling his brother's failed initiative and this has led to clashes with other activists.

Yesterday, Dzamara seized control of proceedings of the #16DaysOccupation and announced the booting out of Mudehwe.

He admitted that the campaign had been rocked by squabbles.

"Any movement in its beginning stages goes through a learning process as it grows and we've settled into the roles that come naturally to us," he said in a statement.

"In the course of this have arisen internal issues of discipline which we have now dealt with. As a result we wish to make it clear that one Lynette Tendayi Mudehwe is no longer part of the occupation.

"Her comments and statements should not be construed as representing us. For any correspondence please approach Cdes Linda Tsungirirayi Masarira and Patson Dzamara."

However, Mudehwe said she could not be excluded from proceedings.

She told our Harare Bureau: "We as the Zimbabwe Activists Alliance came up with this initiative and when we started we invited Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance, we invited Zinasu as well as the Occupy Africa Unity Square Movement. How then does someone want to banish or evict us from an occupation that we started? Can you evict a person from themselves?"

She also professed ignorance over the statement issued by Dzamara, slating him for hijacking the campaign.

Dzamara is largely seen among activists as an attention-seeker trying to gain personal glory by riding on the coat tails of his brother.

"This occupation is bigger than any individual as it is about a cause. We will not allow divisive elements and power struggles to divert us from our cause. If they have another agenda, they are free to carry it out but we are in the square and will remain in the square.

"I've not spoken to Dzamara . . . In a situation where you have people who are leaders in organisations with different causes there are bound to be leadership struggles and personal clashes which I think this is," Mudehwe said.

Meanwhile, French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse, reportedly visited protestors occupying Africa Unity Square in Harare on Monday and some sections of the media quoted him confirming his visit to the park but downplaying his involvement.

"I met people that I know in the Park and of course, greeted them. I have nothing to do with the people demonstrating in the park," he was quoted as saying.

This is not the first time the French envoy has waded into the Dzamara saga.

Last year, he wantonly accused government of having a hand in the so-called abduction of Itai, drawing a sharp response from Harare.

Source - chronicle
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