Violence mars Romeo Gasa album launch

HARARE - Violence reared its ugly head at a musical concert in Chinhoyi on Friday, with scores of fans injured and rushed to hospital.

The event  — held at Chinhoyi Stadium -— was meant to launch Romeo Gasa’s latest studio project Code 263 in style but it turned out to be a warzone as scores of entertainment starved fans violently forced their way into the venue.

Missiles in the form of empty glass bottles, bricks and stones were hurled during the concert, which also featured Baba Harare, First Farai, Tatenda Pinjisi, Peter Moyo, Simon Mtambi and Carlos Green among others. 

According to witnesses, fans resorted to violence in protest at the $3 entrance fee which they considered too much.

Gasa told the Daily News that he is the one to blame for the ugly skirmishes that took place on Friday.

“The event was ours and we are the ones to blame. It was not about the $3 gate charge which angered fans but people just lost patience in the queue.

“Fans were prepared to pay at the gate but there was only one point of sale, this angered fans and they went on to destroy the cast wall, pushing their way into the venue without paying.

“Security details tried to contain the situation by pushing out those fans without price tags and this degenerated into total chaos as fans reacted by way of throwing stones into the venue and they were just shooting in the dark,” Gasa said.

“Next time we will try to put more points-of-sale to avoid chaos.”

Several concert goers including security details and artistes got injured as a result. Other musicians such as Peter Moyo failed to perform as a result.

“Some people including a police officer and guitarists were admitted at Chinhoyi Hospital,” Gasa said.

Bridget Moyo, one of the fans who witnessed the melee, told this publication she did not enjoy the show at all.

“I was saved by the grace of God. It was a scary situation as angry fans were just throwing missiles randomly. Blood was everywhere on the night,” she said.

However, the situation reportedly got normalised after security allowed fans to enter the venue for free.

Of late, violence is becoming the order of the day at local concerts.

Recently, violence scenes were recorded at Nigerian star Davido’s 30 Billion Concert held in Harare.

In 2014 scores of Zimdancehall fans that had packed City Sports Centre in the capital were injured after police fired teargas in the enclosed venue while trying to contain the violence that had erupted.

 

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