HomeLocal NewsRudo Boka runs amok

Rudo Boka runs amok

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Rudo Boka, the director of Boka Investments, ran amok and tried to tear down concrete walls with a hammer at the Boka Auction Floors in Harare on Thursday following a misunderstanding with employees of a company leasing the premises.

Security personnel hired by Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Centre (Zitac), the company leasing the premises, had earlier stopped workers contracted by Boka’s company to refurbish the auction floors.

Boka’s workers were trying to tear down a wall which, according to Boka Investments officials, was blocking the fire escape route, in contravention of city by-laws, but were stopped by Zitac personnel.

After they were stopped, the workers phoned Boka, who rushed to the building where she grabbed a hammer and, in dramatic fashion, pounded the wall in an attempt to bring it down.

The drama attracted the attention of groups of construction staff and other workmen who watched the enraged Boka in action before Zitac bouncers pounced on her, further provoking her in the process.

The bouncers grabbed her and tried to take the hammer away from her resulting in a brief physical altercation which was ended by the intervention of Boka’s workers who rushed to the rescue of their boss.

Boka confirmed the confrontation and insisted the refurbishment would go ahead.

“The bouncers stood in front of the wall when my workers tried to bring down the wall. They (her workers) then phoned me and even after I arrived the bouncers refused to move. I took a hammer and tried to destroy the wall but the bouncers held me back, resulting in the confrontation,” she said.

“I was later calmed down by my workers.

“They have hired bouncers and are locking offices to deny our workers access, hindering our work.”

Zitac has been using the auction floors for the past nine years but the High Court in December gave Boka Investments permission to refurbish the floors, after Zitac had resisted the move.

Boka Investments was recently granted permission to buy tobacco by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board but the company is yet to get fire safety clearance from the Harare City Council.

Boka said the city’s inspectors would only give her company an operating licence after they met all health and safety standards.

Under the refurbishment programme, Boka Investments is making repairs to the drainage systems, roof and ablution systems.

Boka said Zitac had constructed walls along fire escape routes and put up makeshift offices at the entrance to the floors, which structures she wanted demolished.

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