Scores of revellers were injured at PaGomba Cafe in Beitbridge when disgruntled fans threw missiles indiscriminately after sungura artiste Mark Ngwazi failed to show up for a show.
At first revellers pelted an unknown stand-in-band to vent their anger after having been let down by Ngwazi.
“Police can confirm there was crowd trouble at the PaGomba Cafe when an artiste who was supposed to play at the weekend did not show up. We have not had any reports from people who were injured, but police attended a scene where revellers threw missiles at random, most probably disappointed having paid money for a show that never was,” Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said yesterday.
“The revellers destroyed the windows of a minibus that was used as the cash point into the venue where scores of people gathered for the show.”
None of the injured made a police report, but the owner of the joint who had hired the band reported the trouble to police, Nyongo said.
Ngwazi yesterday said he had nothing to say.
“You can just write that I have nothing regarding the issue. I am about to perform here at the Defence Forces event and you want me to say something now because you want me to, you can go ahead and say I have nothing to say,” he said before cutting the call.
The operator of PaGomba Cafe known only as Simbini was not picking calls yesterday.
One reveller said posters advertising Ngwazi’s show at PaGomba were posted around the border town and a charge of $5 was levied at the gate.
“Scores of fun-loving people gathered and there was another band playing which everyone mistook for curtain raiser artistes. Later news that Ngwazi had not come filtered through and trouble started,” Nyongo said.
The crowd started pelting the band and when it ran for cover the riotous crowd continued throwing missiles everywhere.
“Trouble spilt into the car park outside the venue where some people targeted the minibus used as the cash collection point. Its windows were shattered by the angry crowd,” said a security guard at the venue.
Some revellers sustained cuts after they were hit by bottles.
Many were caught unaware.
“It’s robbery; it is daylight robbery and such promoters must be banned,” one reveller said.–Newsday