HERE is the third part of the 40 most WTF moments blog series of this year.
When HE Alone Wore A Mask During A Zoom Conference
In June, President Emmerson Mnangagwa caused an internet mirth quake on after engaging in a ZOOM video call with 14 other leaders while wearing a mask – the only one to do so. The wearing of masks is mandatory in Zimbabwe, as it is part of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Even so, few, however, expected the leader to wear the face mask for an appearance before a camera, during an extraordinary intercessional virtual summit of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). He soon became the subject of social media jokes.
“Does he know that the coronavirus is different from a computer virus?,” wrote one Twitter user.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba later revealed that the president was not alone in the room, hence he felt the need to wear a mask. Charamba shared pictures of a room full of journalists and the Pres. aides. That did not clear up the confusion, however.
Police Tear-gassing Bus Passengers
In October, seven police officers threw teargas canisters into a bus full of passengers at the Harare Exhibition Park. Passengers aboard a Rimbi Tours coach had to jump out through the windows with some falling hard on the tarmac. Some were injured as they fell, while others will need to be checked for possible internal injuries.
Police had stopped the bus to question and possibly arrest the driver on allegations that he had no driver’s licence and had sparred with passengers. Police say they had information that the person in the driver’s seat had no Class One licence before asking him to open his window. When the driver resisted, a police officer then threw tear smoke canisters into the bus. The seven police officers were seen blocking the yellow Rimbi Tours bus that was enveloped in smoke, pushing and shoving passengers while men and women were jumping out of the bus through windows.
Ishan’s Tribal Remarks on Radio
For Ishan, Kure was a hit; what wasn’t a hit was his appearance on Power FM radio where among many other things, he was asked in an interview what was the craziest moment he had ever experienced in his career. The artist replied that it was the reception he received from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo. The presenter asked what transpired, to which Ishan responded:
“I thought I was going to be stoned with cans by the Ndebeles, but instead they were like the Shonas, they were like my people.”
The presenter asked him why he would infer that would happen to him in Bulawayo. Ishan replied that he had heard that people from Bulawayo don’t like music from Harare and that they only listen to house music. The conversation focused on why he would agree to such a gig, one where he would be at risk of being injured. The artist replied that he was doing it for the money and that even if he got injured it would be worth it as long as he got the cheque.
There was quite the outrage from fans with many stating they never expected this from him. Ishan has since apologised for his remarks.
Idle Pupils Turn to Sex Orgies
Upon the opening of exam-writing classes in October, pictures and videos of naked students, twerking, kissing or nourishing in pornographic acts went viral on social media.
This compelled the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education to raise an alarm over alleged rising cases of playfulness in schools where idle students have turned to wild sex orgies, drug abuse and stripping after going unsupervised for weeks due to the strike by teachers. In a virtual meeting with the ministry’s permanent secretary, Tumisang Thabela, the committee chair Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the practice was rampant at boarding schools, where students were without supervision because of the educators’ industrial action.
Lady Squanda in “Armed Robbery” Storm
In October, Zimdancehall chanter, Lady Squanda had a nasty brush with the law after being embroiled in an armed robbery storm. Born Sandra Muchaneta Gazi, she was apprehended together with four suspected robbers -Denzel Chiwenga, Rodrick Gwasira, Zacharia Magaya, and Tichaona Chitova – in connection with a robbery case in Zengeza. The five were suspected to have robbed US$20, a cellphone and a laptop belonging to a guy only identified as Daf Dee. The laptop and cellphone were recovered at Lady Squanda’s house in Zengeza 3.
Somehow, Squanda Fire was saved from serving time after her victim withdrew charges of robbery in the same month.
Energy Mutodi’s Magufuli Tweet
While we have always known Energy Mutodi’s tweet game to be on the fritz, the former Information deputy minister had a series of public clashes with Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo in May after he pushed a diplomatic line too far on Twitter. The outspoken Rhumba fella criticised Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the East African country.
“HE John Pombe Magafuli’s Tanzania now has 630 COVID-19 cases with prayers but without a lockdown while His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe only got 31 cases with a lockdown & masks. An insight into how managers can be game changers,” Mutodi posted on the microblogging site.
The tweet prompted Foreign Minister Moyo to publicly censure Mutodi. Responding to the tweet, Moyo said Mutodi’s remarks did not represent the views of the Zimbabwean government. After that spat, Mutodi didn’t last a week in the cabinet despite his antics and hysterics.
Club DJs Said they Were Tired of Being Paid With Beer
In September, club DJs threatened not to report to work when nightclubs reopen. DJs, among them Dj Prince Eskhosini (Bulawayo Athletic Club), DJ Mabae (Plumtree), DJ Fatso (Victoria Falls), said it was high time club DJs are valued for their contributions in nightclubs and they should be able to take their firm stand.
Gweru’s DJ Jah Soshea who plays at Bowling and Pabloz among other nightclubs and is Midlands 98.4FM radio DJ said:
“As club DJs, we are saying even if clubs open, we aren’t returning to work until the owners start appreciating us. The issue is that we are exploited where some perform only for beers and transport. That should be a thing of the past. I am going to lead this protest and I hope other club DJs come on board and stand for what they deserve.”
Zvishavane-based DJ Flexx who played regularly at Caravan Park and is also YaFM radio DJ said the pandemic has opened the eyes of club DJs. They need to have contracts.
Rushwaya Gold Scandal
In a famous gold bust at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, former Zimbabwe Football Association boss, Henrieta Rushwaya was arrested while trying to smuggle gold worth over US$300 000 to Dubai in her handbag. She faces charges of smuggling, unlawful possession of gold, bribery, criminal abuse of office and obstructing the course of justice. Perhaps one of the most exciting and shocking moments in her trials was when she told the court that she grabbed the wrong bag when going to the airport. And because the finding of the gold is not in factual dispute, just the intentions and the charges, she wanted her gold back.
Marry Chiwenga’s Epic Court Appearance
Chiwenga’s estranged wife was last month wheeled into court on a stretcher bed to help back up her lawyers’ plea that she is not well enough to stand trial. Reportedly critically ill with an unknown ailment, Mubaiwa was briefly hauled into a Harare magistrate’s court where her legal team argued she was not well enough to stand trial for allegedly assaulting a domestic worker. The ailing 37-year-old former model was due to stand trial for assaulting their childminder in the heat of the couple’s child custody battle, but the trial was postponed to next year owing to her poor health. After being transferred into a wheelchair, the former model sat quietly, attached to intravenous drips and beeping monitors. She did not look up even once during the 20-minute hearing and the gallery was tense.
Mbuya Nehanda Statue Being Constructed “Where She Used To Drink Water”
Pres. Mnangagwa said the site where Mbuya Nehanda’s statue in Harare is a status symbol for the iconic First Chimurenga heroine as she used to “rest and drink water” from a river that once flowed there. The statue is being erected at the intersection of Samora Machel and Julius Nyerere in Harare’s central business district.
“The location of this statue carries added historical meaning because the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way is the spot where Mbuya Nehanda used to rest and drink water from a river that flowed at the site,” said Mnangagwa.
Bruh, really? Come on now.
Watch out for part 4 of the 40 Most WTF Moments of 2020.