Opposition MDC Alliance President, Nelson Chamisa and Zim Dancehall guru Winky D were yesterday refused entry by state agents into the National Sports Stadium to attend the late Oliver Mtukudzi’s send of concert.
The security agents cited ‘security reasons’ when they blocked the two from gaining entry into the stadium.
MDC Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora, condemned the actions of the state securocrats saying government’s cowardice was the only reason his leader was barred.
“The decision by state agents to bar @nelsonchamisa from entering the National Sports Stadium is cowardly and totally unacceptable,” Mwonzora wrote on Twitter.
He added that even negotiations with government officials present at the concert could not yield positive results.
“Although Hon Zwizwai and myself tried to remonstrate with the government ministers present it was to no avail,” he added.
Government officials say the opposition leader and the dancehall star failed to observe security protocols.
Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity & Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana said, “He was not barred from a funeral. He wanted to drive into the stadium. Even Ministers were leaving their cars outside like everyone else and walk in.”
“He insisted on not only him driving in but his entourage. We all have to respect security protocols. It’s for all our safety.”
Accusations are that Chamisa was trying to pull a grandstanding gimmick at Tuku’s tribute concert.
Zanu PF official Charity Maodza said “Chamisa is a power greedy individual. He was prepared to hijack Tuku’s funeral for personal glory. Remember he previously tried the same tactic at Tsvangirai’s funeral. This is shameful!”
On the other hand MDC supporters query if Winky D’s dismissal was on the same allegations as well, arguing that the security personnel was executing a pre-planned decision.
“This was pre-planned. You see the government is still jittery after what happened last week. Those demonstrations sent shivers down their spines and they don’t want to take chances. My president (Chamisa) and Winky are loved by the masses and their presence could have embarrassed ED”, said a man only identified as Tshuks.
Clear details as to why Winky D was as well barred from the concert have not yet emerged.
The ‘Jecha’ hit song maker is said to be in bad books with the ruling Zanu PF for throwing lyrical jibes at the current administration through his songs Parliament and Jecha.
Sources say the decision to bar the two from attending the send off ceremony was made a day before and the message was relayed to them by the chief of staff upon arriving at the stadium.
The Ministry of Information tried to cleanse the government on the matter through it’s Twitter handle.
“Dr Mtukudzi’s funeral is family led. Govt is there to provide resources and other support. Everyone is welcome to the funeral. Normal security protocols have to be observed for the protection of the mourners. Govt asks everyone to cooperate with security for everyone’s safety,” the ministry wrote on the micro blogging site.
Dr Mtukudzi passed on on Wednesday after a long battle with diabetes.
Tuku was declared a National Hero due to his immense contribution to the country’s music industry and the society.
He survived by his wife Daisy, five children and two grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest at his rural home in Madziwa, Mashonaland Central today.