Chaos reigned as revellers at Jah Prayzah’s gig ran in all directions at Pick and Save in Mutare in the early hours of Sunday when an unknown chemical similar to teargas was discharged during a fight by two well known men, injuring scores of people.
Jah Prayzah had to jump off the stage for safety, while his fans scurried for cover as the chemical engulfed the whole area within a few minutes.
With about 3,000 fans in attendance, the musician, who went onto the stage at around 11PM, had started off the show well, serenading revellers with his popular tracks that included Kumbumura Mhute, Eriza, Taura Paumire and Hello among others.
However, all hell broke loose around 2AM when a scuffle ensued pitting two well known Mutare socialites, resulting in one of them throwing a canister at his rival. Smoke immediately engulfed the place. In the ensuing melee, scores of fans sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the choking chemical.
For about 20 minutes, the agitated crowd battled to leave the venue. Pick and Save proprietor Esau Mupfumi identified the feuding parties as Douglas Kombo of Christmas Pass, Mutare, and local socialite and businessman Clyde Jani.
“We’d about 3,000 people in attendance and all was well until around 2AM on Sunday when Clyde (Jani) had a nasty exchange of words with Kombo,” said Mupfumi.
“The latter then threw a canister that was blocked by Jani before it rolled on the ground and started producing smoke that caused so much confusion and pain to revellers.
“Some who were near the entrance quickly went away but others had a torrid time getting out of the venue. “Kombo was assaulted by a number of fans who blamed him for causing the abrupt stoppage of the entertaining show.
“We had to rescue him,” said the Dangamvura Chikanga legislator. Mupfumi said Kombo instantly offered to pay $5,000 for the return of Jah Prayzah as a way of apologising for having caused the abandonment of the show.
“He handed over to us $3,000 and pledged to pay the remainder,” said Mupfumi.
Lachrymatory agents, like the one used by Kombo, are commonly used for controlling rioting masses. Their use in warfare is prohibited by various international treaties as they cause severe eye, respiratory, and skin irritation, pain, vomiting, and even blindness. The Herald