By Leopold Munhende
A GROUP of suspected Zanu PF youths was assaulted by bouncers after demanding free entry into Winky D’s Njema album launch at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on New Year’s Eve.
The group, wearing Zanu PF T-shirts and scarves, had demanded free entry into the well-attended show, but the bouncers manning the venue entrance would have none of it, assaulting the young men who were forced to take to their heels.
Inside the HICC, another group of suspected Zanu PF youths tried to cause commotion when Winky D – real name Wallace Chirumiko – was performing, but the attempts were ignored by a 5 000 strong crowd that attended the gig.
The much revered artiste, however, seemed to have come more than prepared for the launch as his stage was dominated by scores of bouncers just in case violence broke out.
Ahead of the much-anticipated launch, fears of violence dominated local media.
The Ministry of Information was forced to issue a statement dismissing reports government had ordered the State-run Power FM to cancel – last minute – an interview that Winky D was scheduled to have with the ZBC station.
Minister Home Affairs, Kazembe Kazembe cancelled a scheduled press conference to discuss Winky D’s show, a police decision to call the artiste’s manager, Jonathan Banda for questioning and a petition by unknown sources to the Censorship Board for the show to be cancelled, were part of controversial events that led to the album launch.
Last month, suspected Zanu PF youths armed with sjamboks, stormed exiled former Cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo’s book launch in Harare, sending Western ambassadors and other delegates scurrying for cover as they threatened to beat up everyone.
However, on the day of the album launch, Winky D gave a top notch performance with a well choreographed act.
According to Winky D, his new album Njema, is meant to free the minds of his fans and it does not carry any hidden political messages as suspected by the ruling party.