KAROI — Youths from both Zanu PF and MDC-T, clad in their party regalia, recently caused commotion at Chikangwe Tavern in Karoi demanding free access into a musical show by Tryson Chimbetu.
Report By TAWANDA MARWIZI
Residents who spoke to Standardcommunity last week expressed disgust at the youths’ behaviour saying wearing party regalia at musical shows promoted political violence.
“They come here wearing their party regalia and this is not the first time,” said Misheck Kuvarega, a Karoi resident. “When Sulu [Chimbetu] came here they did the same, and again when Macheso came here. These are not political rallies.”
A senior police officer at Karoi Police Station confirmed that youths wore party regalia at shows but said they had not handled cases of violence.
“Yes, we receive those reports whenever a musician comes here but then to be honest, we have not yet recorded any case of violence at these shows,” he said.
Sulumani Chimbetu’s publicist, Joe Nyamungoma said he was unhappy with youths that attended shows donning party regalia.
“We came across that and our guys had problems at the gate but it is disturbing because we don’t go to entertain political parties but we go there to entertain our fans,” said Nyamungoma.
Musician Tryson Chimbetu said he only saw people wearing different party regalia while he was on stage.
“I saw them yes, though I did not ask why but it is not good for our fans because we will be there just to give them entertainment,” he said.
But Ward 7 councillor and Chairperson of the Entertainment Committee, James Miriki believes allowing youths to attend musical shows in party regalia was a way of promoting political tolerance in the community.
“Actually, it’s a way of promoting peace and we have since called them to bring 10 from MDC-T and 10 from Zanu PF at events held here at Chikangwe and we are happy that so far, we have not recorded any violent act,” said Miriki.
He added: “It [wearing party regalia] is only a way for them to identify themselves at the gate and also for easy identification in any case of violence.”
Karoi is one of the towns that recorded high cases of political violence in the 2008 elections.