Police in full riot gear were Wednesday morning deployed at Chitungwiza municipality head office after word got out that angry flea market vendors — who last week beat up the town clerk — several senior officials and council security personnel were mobilising for a second attack.
Workers at the head office were ordered to vacate council premises after a truckload of suspicious-looking people passed by the offices singing and chanting threatening slogans against town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa and a team of people said to be his personal bodyguards allegedly hired after he was attacked last week.
Tanyanyiwa is now living in fear after last week’s attack by a rowdy mob and is said to have hired personal security to protect him.
The personal security has stoked tensions within the cash-strapped municipality as it comes at a time workers were complaining about non-payment of salaries.
Flea market and other vendors were infuriated by council’s demolition of their stalls in a clampdown that began last week.
When NewsDay visited the council offices Wednesday sources confirmed that workers had been ordered to go home.
“It was an almost chaotic scene and workers were told to go home,” said the source.
Tanyanyiwa was said to have left as soon as signs of disturbances became apparent.
“There is no one in right now,” said a municipal police officer who refused to be identified. “All the workers have gone home. You can try tomorrow maybe they will be here.”
Mayor Philemon Chipiyo Wednesday distanced himself from the goings-on at the council offices saying only Tanyanyiwa was the best person to comment.
“I have been out of office for sometime so I wouldn’t want to engage in gossip.
“The only person to comment is Tanyanyiwa as he is in the picture of what is going on,” he said.
He added that he was new in the establishment.