Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Correspondent
ABOUT 40 people have been arrested in connection with violence that erupted and caused the abandonment of the Busy Signal Fly Africa show in Bulawayo last Friday.
The Jamaican dancehall-reggae artiste failed to perform after rowdy hooligans pelted the stage with cans, empty beer and whisky bottles. This was after Winky D walked off stage citing poor sound during his set.
In the melee, thieves looted alcohol, food and sweets while some broke into cars parked outside the venue.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said there were a number of people who were arrested for causing violence and stealing during the night.
“There were people who were arrested for theft and causing public disturbances during a show in Bulawayo on Friday night. The suspects will appear in court soon,” said Insp Simango.
Sources close to organisers of the show said at least 40 people were arrested.
Insp Simango said the long arm of the law would always catch up with criminals and condemned violence.
“As police we condemn violence and crime of any nature. We encourage people to desist from turning to violence and thievery like what happened on Friday,” said Insp Simango.
A number of people are reported to have suffered injuries in the skirmishes that broke out on the night.
Apart from Busy Signal not performing, South Africa’s Busiswa also failed to take to the stage because of the abrupt end to the show organised by United Kingdom-based Y2K Promotions.
Busiswa hid behind a tent in the VIP area with Bulawayo’s DJ Liz as bottles rained on the stage. She was taken to Cubana and then her hotel room thereafter.
Bulawayo socialite Babongile Sikhonjwa, who was the MC on the night, said he witnessed scores of people at Bulawayo Central Police station after the show.
“I was with DJ Liz, Busiswa’s DJ named Pax Africa and my wife Naka Qobo, passing by the police station going to Club Connect. I saw a lot of people in the station. I then stopped and went to talk to them and they revealed that some were reporting cases of theft and other things, while others were reporting assaults and needed police reports in order to be treated at hospitals,” said Sikhonjwa.
Violence seems to be synonymous with Zimdancehall shows.
Two years ago a show pitting Seh Calaz and Soul Jah Love at City Sports Centre in Harare was abandoned due to violence.
This was after fans rained cans and empty beer bottles onto the stage.
Thereafter in Bulawayo, violence reared its ugly head at a Zimdancehall show at Palace Gardens. Angry fans rioted after Soul Jah Love failed to perform at the venue.