BULAWAYO – A man was tackled and led away by state security agents on Thursday after shouting “huya pano iwewe” in the direction of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa, accompanied by his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and a bevy of security guards, had just finished a tour of exhibition stands at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and was walking to the Office of the President and Cabinet pavilion when the incident happened.
A man walking in the periphery of the VIP party shouted “huya pano iwewe!”, a forceful way of saying “you, come here!” The incident was witnessed by a ZimLive correspondent, and at least one other witness.
It was not clear who was the target of the shout, or if Mnangagwa heard him.
A uniformed police officer grabbed the man and slapped him once. He was joined by Mnangagwa’s plain clothes close protection officers who led the man away.
In the commotion which was over within seconds, Mnangagwa continued walking and chatting, appearing unperturbed.
There were immediate questions whether the man – who is dark skinned and appeared to be in his 30s – has mental health issues.
One of the organisers of the ZITF said: “I didn’t see the incident myself, but I can tell you that security was very tight today because the president was coming, and in any case the ZITF has only been open to exhibitors, government officials, emergency workers and the media so far. Someone with mental health issues is very unlikely to have made it through.”
George Charamba, the spokesman in the presidency, was unreachable.