“I was heavily assaulted by the police and spent two days in hospital but that hasn’t broken my spirit. I will keep on fighting for what I believe in."
These were the words uttered by 37 year old journalist cum human rights activist Itai Dzamara whilst addressing scores of people who had gathered in the Africa Unity Square in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD). Before the assault, Dzamara had succeeded in leading a peaceful protest in front of the parliament building where President Robert Mugabe was officially opening parliament; this led to his arrest. Dzamara's “Occupy Africa Unity Square Campaign" called for Zimbabweans to protest the deteriorating economic conditions that have rendered citizens paupers. The Campaign also handed over a petition calling for President Mugabe to resign. .
Dzamara together with other activists was confronted by riot police who mercilessly beat the activists thoroughly resulting in broken ribs and wounds
“The riot police descended upon us and told us to disperse. I flatly refused as I told them that it was constitutional but they just started beating up everyone. This is a clear violation of the new constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and the state continues to infringe citizen rights and this will be challenged, “said Dzamara. The “Occupy Africa Unity Square Campaign” is steadily gaining momentum with scores of disgruntled youths joining the protest.
Asked on whether he will succeed in his campaign Dzamara vowed that the strategy will work. “Many people are now coming in solidarity with our calls for Mugabe to resign. It is just a matter of time and people are getting sick and tired with the high cost of living and decaying economic climate. We will win this struggle,”he said
Zimbabwe is facing an economic meltdown since the end of the Government of National Unity (GNU). Many companies have shut down and basic services such as clean water and medicines in hospitals are erratic.