By Mutsa Makuvaza
CONTROVERSIAL preacher Passion “Twabam” Java chickened out of his street tour of the eastern border city of Mutare as crowds gathered around him and blocked entrances to shops and businesses.
Java, who jetted into the country last week to mourn his “friend” Genius Ginimbi Kadungure, wanted to catch the fresh breath of the eastern highlands before flying back to his UK base.
Being one of the most widely followed Zimbabweans on the social media streets, Java probably did not anticipate a huge crowd that turned up when he was spotted on a real physical street in Mutare on Friday.
Police and health authorities are currently concerned by the growing number of gatherings across the country which violate Covid-19 lockdown regulations, and Java said he didn’t want to break the law and to appear irresponsible by being seen entertaining huge crowds.
“I have had to abandon my tour of Mutare because of the crowds that have gathered wherever I have been in Mutare.
“This had created problems and it’s in the best interests of everyone that I go back to Harare,” said Passion Java, who a few days ago caused a scene in Harare when he dished out wads of US$20 notes to followers.
However, Java managed to spend time at the local community radio Diamond FM, where he did a live programme.
In video footages shared by leading tabloid H-Metro, Twabam is seen struggling to get out of the Diamond FM building after local folks learnt on the radio that he was in town.
Security had a torrid time clearing the exit for him to leave. The Mutare folks can be forgiven if they anticipated some wads of US dollars to fly their way from Twabam, considering the spectacle they had watched when Twabam caused a stampede during the funeral of socialite Michelle Moana Amuli when he dished out cash like confetti at a wedding.
Java was a fairly unknown quantity in Zimbabwean social circles a few years ago, but has of late forced his name into the spotlight with a bagful of cash and a handful of videos that entertain as well as rile his followers.
He has erected huge billboards on some of Harare’s busiest roads with nothing but funny messages such as “Gore reGonzo”, “Saka?” among other of his trademark jabs. Java has also partnered with Zimpapers to sponsor some of their programmes while in the process cultivating a huge following for himself, which now follows him literally everywhere he goes in Zimbabwe. – Zimbabwe Voice ■