THERE was chaos at the 21st February Movement music gala held at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield, Harare, on Friday.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
The bash, which was organised to celebrate President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday, was held under the theme ZimAsset: Growing the Economy for Empowerment and Employment.
Mbare Chimurenga Choir, which sings praise songs of President Robert Mugabe, Mhondoro Choir and Masimba Crew got a rude awakening as missiles flew from different angles during their respective sets.
Some musicians who were also performing at the event were not spared as most of them missed their slots due to the mêlée.
Initially only one gate was opened resulting in fans struggling to gain entry.
When NewsDay arrived at the venue at around 8pm, a number of fans in long, winding queues were seen pushing and shoving as they struggled to gain entry into the stadium.
Police ended up playing the cats-and-dogs game beating up with batons some impatient revellers who had forced their entry into the venue.
Some musicians, among them urban groovers, complained of being sabotaged by the organisers.
Dancehall “Badboy” Soul Jah Love was not spared as he failed to perform with the show organisers saying he was to blame.
One of the event organisers, Emmanuel Juta, said Soul Jah Love was late for the show and was not patient enough to wait for an alternative arrangement.
“We did not sabotage anyone. We told the artistes to come and collect their entry tickets in the morning (Friday), but some of them did not come as advised,” Juta said.
On the issue of pandemonium at the gates, Juta said the rains worsened the chaos.
“The rains contributed to the mayhem witnessed at the gates since people came in their numbers soon after the rains had subsided,” he said.
“The response after the rains was overwhelming, but we eventually managed to contain the crowds.”
Freeman also had a bad day in the office as missile throwing characterised his performance.
Mbare MP Tendai Savanhu for a moment became the epicentre of the fun when he joined Mbare-bred Killer T on stage inviting wild cheers as he chanted the dancehall singer’s trademark Popo Popo punchline before handing the musician a $100 note.
The event was well attended with musicians Jah Prayzah, Alick Macheso, Guspy Warrior, Sulumani Chimbetu, Winky D, Shinsoman, Mathias Mhere, Sebastian
Magacha and Peter Moyo putting up sterling performances.