By Phil Tejane|
Zanu PF youths have threatened to shut down fast food chain Nando’s to protest an advert lampooning president Robert Mugabe over his dramatic fall at Harare airport recently.
The youths said they had already started a boycott of Nando’s products and would use violence to stop others buying from the shops.
Nando’s South Africa this week unveiled a hilarious ad campaign with the tag line, “Falling for our chicken is risky business”.
The ads feature pictures of Mugabe falling at the airport when he returned recently from the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Nandos continues to mock our president and we are not doing anything about it,” said Macbeth Tawanda Takawira, a Zanu PF militant, writing on Facebook Wednesday. “I personally no longer buy their products. May our government also act by shutting down the Nando’s Zimbabwe franchises. Our president has helped create this conducive business environment for Nando’s and how do they repay him?”
Another militant, Tinomutenda Chatira, was even more ominous.
“Nando’s is going to disappear from Zimbabwe. We will set thugs on them,” Chatira said.
Officials at Innscor Africa, which operates the global Nando’s franchise in Zimbabwe said they were taking the threats seriously. Nandos has previously had a run in with the authorities after another advert portrayed Mugabe as “the last dictator standing” following the
demise of Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, P.W. Botha and Idi Amin.
Reacting to the latest advert, Zanu PF hardliners threatened to invade Nando’s shops and assault staff.
Pictures of Mugabe falling down at the airport went viral around the world and led to renewed calls for him to step down. The dictator, one of the world’s oldest rulers, turns 91 on February 21 but is reported to be in poor health and using steroids to remain active.
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