NATIONAL Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe leader Standrick Zvorwadza yesterday denied ever threatening to burn Rainbow Towers Hotel when he allegedly staged a demonstration against Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s profligacy at the hotel.
Source: Zvorwadza denies threatening to burn top hotel – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 14, 2016
BY MARY TARUVINGA
The activist said he had gone to the hotel for breakfast when police officers pounced on him.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Rusinahama and is being represented by his lawyer Marufu Mandevere.
The State, led by Venecia Mutake, opened the vendors’ leader trial by calling two hotel officials who alleged Zvorwadza indeed made the threats.
“He conducted himself in a violent manner prompting us to call the police. He resisted and was shouting at the top of his voice calling for the Vice-President’s evacuation,” the hotel’s concierge, Douglas Dembetembe, said.
“Sometime later members of the anti-riot police had to intervene and that was when he shouted that he would mobilise his members and have the hotel shut down or burn it.”
Hotel general manager, Trythings Mutyandasvika, alleged the activist was at the hotel two days before the day in question.
“I called the police when I saw him on that particular day because he had visited us days before. He shouted at the top of his voice distracting people who were present and also my guests. He said if the hotel management failed to evict the Vice-President he was going to mobilise his people and burn down the hotel. He went on to give us an ultimatum,” he said.
Under cross-examination, the two hotel staffers said they could not confirm if he really meant his words as they were not the magistrates.
The State alleges that Zvorwadza was in the company of three suspected journalists and four other accomplices who are still at large.
The court heard that they were in possession of video cameras when Zvorwadza took a seat in the foyer and began shouting that he wanted to have breakfast before he became violent and threatened to burn the hotel.