Wednesday, 18 December 2019

MANDAZA : I HAD TO RUN FOR MY LIFE

A GROUP of suspected Zanu PF activists yesterday disrupted the launch of former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s book, Excellgate that supposedly details how the 2018 general elections were stolen by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party.

The book launch was strictly by invitation and before the event commenced, some suspected Zanu PF activists stormed the venue, Ibbo Mandaza’ Sapes Trust premises in Belgravia and forced people out, including diplomats.

Mandaza confirmed the fracas, saying he had to flee the venue after the activists wearing MDC-T regalia as a disguise, started ordering the diplomats out and threatening violence on people who were trickling in. They were armed with whips.

The former bureaucrat last night said he had to run for his life when the a situation turned volatile.

“I fled the area when they threatened diplomats and that their safety was not guaranteed. The youths as a cover mode were putting on MDC-T T-shirts,” Mandaza said.

“So the launch was disrupted by the same gang led by Alex Ncube. They arrived at 4:30pm and began disrupting the venue, threatening violence with sticks and chains; ordered our guests, who included diplomats among them the European Union, Swiss and Japanese to leave or face violence; the police, who had agreed to come and protect the event never turned up, serving our man, who had gone to (the Harare) Central (Police Station) to fetch police details, with a letter stating that they cannot help us.”

According to sources who witnessed the disturbances, the rowdy activists, believed to be Zanu PF supporters put up placards denouncing Moyo as soon as they arrived, removing posters with information about the book and forcing the event to be called off.

Efforts to get police reinforcement hit a brick wall after Mandaza was served with a letter from the law enforcement agents stating they could not assist because they had been advised at short notice.

“Your application letter requesting police manpower on launching your book on the 17th of December 2019 from 1700hours to 2000 hours has been noted.

“However, be advised that due to the short notice you gave us, we are not in a position to action your request,” Office Commanding Harare district, Oscar Mugomeri wrote.

This is the second time the book launch had to be postponed. Newsday

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