Mhiripiri threatens newspaper vendor

Lovemore Kadzura
CONTROVERSIAL Rusape farmer, Nathaniel Mhiripiri on Tuesday went berserk and threatened a Manica Post newspaper vendor with unspecified drastic actions over a story this paper carried last week.

Mhiripiri who has had several brushes with the law before is embroiled in a vehicle ownership wrangle with Mr Taurai Moses Mahupa who approached the courts to compel Mhiripiri to release a vehicle registration book he was holding onto claiming the vehicle was his.

Rusape magistrate, Mrs Elizabeth Hanzi, last Monday, was forced to adjourn the matter to February 22 after Mhiripiri failed to turn up for the hearing where he was supposed to cross-examine Mr Mahupa’s daughter who had been brought to court as a witness.

Mr Mahupa’s daughter had missed the previous court session due to illness.

Mr Mahupa made an application for delivery of a vehicle registration book at Rusape Magistrates Court on October 19, 2016.

Having been incensed with the story, Mhiripiri hurled insults and threats to the newspaper vendor, Mr Tongesai Mubawa, demanding why he was selling a newspaper that wrote ‘lies’ about him.

He told Mr Mubawa that he could confiscate and burn all the newspapers in Rusape and nothing would be done to him as he was a very powerful person in this country.

Mhiripiri also went on to pull down The Manica Post posters and went away with a copy of this publication without paying.

This all happened in full view of many people who had gathered at Edro Motors to witness Mhiripiri exhibiting his trademark goon behaviour.

Mr Mubawa said he was terrified by Mhiripiri’s antics and added that he was so relieved that he went away without harming him as he had promised.

“It was around 8.30am when Mhiripiri came here. He started shouting at me saying why did the paper write lies about him. I told him that I don’t write newspapers, but just sells them, but he would have none of it. He continued to shout at me saying I am a small man.

“People started gathering and Mhiripiri upped his voice, telling me that he could burn all the newspaper in this town and no-one dares to touch him. I kept quite. He pulled down posters about his story and took a copy of The Manica Post without paying.

“I informed our supervisor, Mr Innocent Mutete and had since made a police report over the issue,” he said.

Last Sunday, Mhiripiri tried to cause a scene during a Zanu-PF Provincial Co-ordination Committee meeting at Mutare Polytechnic when he approached The Manica Post News Editor, Cletus Mushanawani and the Senior Photographer, Tinai Nyadzayo demanding that the newspaper should only write his own side of the story despite the fact that the vehicle ownership case is still pending before the courts.