A wedding party on its way to Mbembesi in Matabeleland North for the big do conducted the “you may kiss the bride” ceremony at a roadblock while detained by no-nonsense police officers.
Nomagugu Zulu, dressed in an immaculate white dress exchanged vows with Bekithemba Ndlovu, donning a trendy suit on the Harare road before the Mbembesi turn-off instead of their homestead at Zimbile village infront of the community and family.
Their entourage comprising about 40 people and six cars left Bulawayo for their homestead in Mbembesi at around 10am.
Little did they know they would encounter a hurdle in the form of a roadblock.
“The police at a roadblock by the Mbembesi turnoff stopped the commuter omnibus carrying the bridal team. They said it had diverted from its normal route. We tried reasoning with them but they said we were pirating. As if that was not enough, it got worse. Another officer said the T-35 truck that carried relatives was overloaded,” said Ndlovu.
For their alleged traffic violations, they were told to part with $120 for the cars and an additional $105 for overloading but they didn’t have the money.
By their own admission, they didn’t have the private hire permit which is a must for a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) if diverted from its regular route. “We didn’t hire the commuter omnibus, it is a family vehicle,” added Ndlovu.
The scenario ended up creating a traffic jam on the highway and the wedding party went ahead with the ceremony by the roadside in some instances spilling onto the road.
Videos in possession of B-Metro show the party venting anger and accusing cops of corruption. “Why us? We don’t have the money to pay you. We won’t bribe you,” one young man is heard screaming.
The standoff lasted for a good three hours but the cops had to give in and let them pass.
“We were late with our rural programme because of the police,” added Ndlovu.
Prichard Ndlovu, brother to Bekithemba told B-Metro they even did the traditional wedding gifts presentation at the roadblock.
“People don’t have money these days, they managed to congratulate the newly weds with $127. Those with money were holed up in Mbembesi waiting for us,” he said.
“The master of ceremonies at the wedding suggested that we pay the cops but people resisted the move. “We could have at least paid part of the fine with the money raised. However, people said we shouldn’t because we had already had a roadside wedding. At that point the police ran away to safety because the crowd was getting angry,” he added.
When they finally proceeded to Mbembesi it was just to fulfil an initial plan gone wrong.
“We got to the homestead late but at least people saw the newly weds and were entertained by the bridal team and announcements were made,” added Prichard.
Efforts to get a comment from Matabeleland North police spokesperson Sergeant Namatirai Mashona were fruitless as she was said to be out of office. – B-Metro