Baring his soul

Half-naked Zim protestor causes scene on the streets of Francistown

A Zimbabwean man who caused a stir in Francistown on Tuesday morning when he walked the city’s streets half naked and calling on his countrymen to vote out Emmerson Mnangagwa in Monday’s election has escaped prison.

Armed with his nation’s flag, a burning sense of patriotic duty and little else, 38-year-old Zondai Nyamande took to the Ghetto on a bare-bottomed crusade to ‘save his country’.

Police arrested the muscular Mutare native moments after he left The Voice’s Francistown office, where he had just given an exclusive interview to explain his mission.

Confirming the married father of two’s overnight detention and subsequent court appearance, Francistown Police Station Commander Superintendent Lebalang Maniki revealed Nyamande was detained for common nuisance.

“We got complaints from members of the public to the effect that there was a man walking half naked in the mall. We arrested the man and charged him with common nuisance.

“One cannot walk around half naked – it is unacceptable and an inconvenience to the public and against the Public Order Act!”

The Police Chief went on to tell The Voice that his men had taken Nyamande to the Donga Customary Court the morning after his arrest, where he was found guilty and warned about his future conduct.

“He was cautioned, warned and discharged this morning,” Maniki confirmed, adding the court could potentially have sentenced Nyamande to a year in prison if they so wished.

“The court could have sentenced him to jail or any other suitable punishment had they not warned and cautioned him,” the top cop intimated.

Meanwhile, whilst on his one-man march through the Ghetto, Nyamande, who says he supports Nelson Chimisa’s Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, urged Zimbabweans living in Botswana to go back home and vote out the ZANU PF Mnangagwa-led government.

“Mnangagwa must go. He is the Devil in waiting and was part of the Mugabe regime that has brought the country to its knees!” exclaimed the Zim protestor, who predicted that Chimisa would emerge victorious in the up-coming election.

“Chamisa is the man to take Zimbabwe forward and into prosperity – he has the heart, the mind and the will of the people of Zimbabwe and his policies will benefit the average Zimbabwean!” declared an animated Nyamande, much to the amusement of the small crowd that gathered to watch the unusual spectacle.

When quizzed on why he had chosen an ensemble that left most of his body exposed – he wore a makeshift yellow g-string with a small Zimbabwean flag pinned to the back, a graduation cap and socks and shoes – Nyamande, an unemployed electrical engineer responded passionately, “My outfit is a symbol for our country.

“Zimbabwe is naked and we need to vote in somebody who can dress our country and give it some dignity!”

Despite his nakedness and whispers from the crowd that he must be crazy, during the interview it became apparent Nyamande was eccentric but certainly not mad.

At the time of going to press cops had released Nyamande, who on Tuesday told The Voice he intended to reach Zimbabweans in Gaborone and parts of South Africa before rushing home to cast his vote.

“We need all the votes we can to oust the corrupt ZANU-PF regime and it is my duty to mobilise as many as I can,” explained the hunky young man, whose unusual dress sense may have landed him in trouble with the police but seemed a real hit with Francistown’s female population and drew envious looks from some of the men.

*Nyamande’s full interview is available on The Voice’s Facebook page

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