There was drama at Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu on Friday last week when security details manning entry points at a Zanu PF rally demanded back t-shirts from scores of disgruntled supporters who were leaving before President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s address.
According to the program, Mnangagwa was expected at the venue at 10am but he arrived after midday, much to the dismay of scores of supporters who had flocked into the stadium as early as eight in the morning.
Disgruntled supporters then started going back to their homes but some security details, including members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, forced them to go back into the stadium.
It is at this time that some started to protest saying they could not wait for long as they had errands to run.
However, the security details then told the irritated supporters that they would only leave on condition that they leave behind the regalia they had been given upon entering the stadium.
“You cannot go back home because we want the President to find you here, there have to be as many people as possible when the president walks in,” said one ‘security’ officer.
Another ZRP officer said, “If you want to go out then you have to return the t-shirts so that those that are coming can have something to wear.”
The leaving supporters who started to throw the t-shirts on the ground, argued that they could not spend the whole day waiting for Mnangagwa as they have other routines to rush to.
“How dare you disrespect us to the extent of forcing us to remove t-shirts. these are cheap quality, if we wanted t-shirts only, we could still get them from Nelson Chamisa, they look better than these ones,” said one youthful supporter before walking away.
Another elderly Zanu-PF supporter had no kind words for the security officers whom he said were novices in the party who could not force her to leave her t-shirt.
“Uri mwana wanezuro iwe, uchiri kubva mukaka pamhuno, ungandiudze kuti ndibvise skipper iyi yandapihwa nemusangano? sei usina matyira (You are too young for me, how can you tell me to remove the t-shirt which I was given by the party? Why are don’t you respect your elders),” said the angry looking man as he walked away with his t-shirt on.
Other supporters who spoke to 263Chat said they had only taken the t-shirts for fear of victimization.
“I only came here because I wanted a t-shirt to protect myself from harassment, otherwise, I will not wear this on any day as I am an MDC supporter, ” said one youth who identified himself as Dread.
One security officer, Chamunorwa Magaya, said the reason behind taking t-shirts back from those leaving the stadium was to guard against those who were getting them twice.
“We are trying to make sure that everyone gets a t-shirt, some are taking them home and coming back to collect again and this result in shortages as some people are yet to get,” said Magaya.