Questions are now arising on whether the purported abduction of Anti Mugabe Activist Itai Dzamara is actually true or staged by Itai Dzamara who has a history of fabricating stories.
Why would Mugabe’s regime target abducting Itai Dzamara leaving other big fish that cause real threat to the ruling party?
Why abduct him now, why not when he was protesting at Africa Unity Square?
In 2009 the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper moved swiftly to fire one of its reporters, Itai Dzamara, after he TWICE misrepresented stories about the Botswana government.
Reporter Itai Dzamara was dismissed from his job for what a source at the paper described as “appalling sloppiness in reporting”.
His latest fabricated story carried by the paper in 2009 claimed that Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai met Botswana President Festus Mogae during a “private visit” over the Christmas holiday in Victoria Falls.
Botswana’s presidential spokesman Jeff Ramsay was swift in his response to the article. While confirming that Mogae and his family were in Victoria Falls on a “recreational visit” on 29 December 2009, he said the President never met any MDC representative as fabricated by Itai Dzamara.
“There is absolutely no truth to the story,” he said in a statement. “The President did not hold discussions with Tsvangirai or any other MDC leader over the holidays. This is the second false story concerning this Office to be published in the Zimbabwe Independent during the past year under Itai Dzamara’s by-line.”
In January last year 2008, Dzamara doctored a statement from Ramsay (see Independent apology) to craft a story claiming the Botswana government had called for a crackdown on Zimbabwean immigrants.
The latest criticism stung the Independent editors who moved with haste in showing Dzamara the door. It is believed that he was recently asked to stop his contributions to a South African-based Zimbabwe news site after his stories were questioned.
The Independent’s swift response was necessary to save the paper’s credibility, media observers said. The decision to relieve Dzamara of his job, it was felt, was also a statement to the Botswana government — which has not hidden its disillusionment with the Zimbabwe media — that the paper had no axe to grind.
Ramsay said: “It should be apparent that this Office has no motive to deny the Zimbabwe Independent’s report other than the simple fact that it is blatantly untrue.”
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