Zimbabwe’s embattled police force whose incompetance and bizarre presence in a number of public gatherings that mostly ended in commotion, violence and fatalities has made desperate attempts to clear their involvement with the latest leg where they sanctioned closure of all exists except one at the recent All Night prayer conference in Kwekwe where at least eleven people are confirmed to have lost their lives n the fracas.
Naturally, the presence of the tunic cladded boys and girls should be enough to assure the public of safety and peaceful happening, with the more the police presence supposed to merit the safer, alas in Zimbabwe it is now a common phenomenon the opposite is true.
Barely a fortnight after yet another incidence that descended into a stampede at City Sports in Harare where the sphere of public review pointed the finger of blame to the police for their risky and unprofessional manner of handling the crowd and blamed the entire situation on a “wild-cat” tear gas canister, the force has yet again come on public limelight for a similar misdeed.
The ridiculous defence comes at a moment when the names of the eleven fallen Kwekwe congregats who died during a stampede at a crusade which was held by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya at Mbizo Stadium in Kwekwe last week. The victims are Ian Nkomo (40), Cynthia Jane Katsholo (47), Tendekai Bafana (9), Winnie Chikanda (12), Tamuka Chivasa (11), Juliet Mawere (55), Rachel Zvinei (16), all of Kwekwe, Albert Ndure (13) and Bridget Mukarati (34) both of Gweru, Grace Gwinji (age not given) and Shadreck Gumisidzo Kurebwa (59) both of Redcliff.
Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Charity Charamba who shifted blame to a private gas bottle explosion on premise denied any involvement of the police nor their responsibility to either be on site prior or post the unfortunate incident.
“The ZRP would like to set the record straight on what transpired at Mbizo Stadium, Kwekwe on 20th November 2014. Amos Muzeiwa (43) was using gas bottles to cook fast foods such as sausages to sell to the public in the stadium,the gas bottles leaked and burst as the crowd was about to leave the stadium. This contributed to the stampede which unfortunately led to the loss of life”, she said.
“We would also like to point out that the PHD event was a private function and police are not obliged to provide security on such activities. All police details who were on duty on that day had no tear smoke or button sticks as had been previously alleged”, she added.