‘It was mind games not muti'
I'M NOT A MUTI MAN: Makhwengwe

GU coach protests his innocence

Gaborone United Coach, Phillimon Makhwengwe was last Thursday brought before Jwaneng police following a scuffle with a security officer who suspected him of sprinkling muti on the pitch.

The incident happened when the GU coach asked the security officer to open the gate for pitch inspection before the Jwaneng Galaxy and Gaborone United (GU) game last weekend.

The BTC Premier League match was then marred by drama when the security officer started shooting a video of Makhwengwe performing what appeared to be a ritual on the pitch.

A scuffle ensued and Makhwengwe lost his temper and manhandled the security guard in an effort to delete the video.

Denying that he was sprinkling muti on the pitch as was suspected by the security guard, Makwengwe told The Voice in an interview that he was only playing ‘mind games’ to confuse Jwaneng Galaxy.

He said he wanted to inspect the pitch and the security officer, from Anaconda Security Services, denied him access.

Suspecting that his opponents might have jinxed the ground with muti and ordered the security guard to prevent GU officials from ‘neutralising’ it, Makhwenge insisted that he be allowed to inspect the pitch.

“It was only after I had threatened to report the matter to the Premier League office that the security officer eventually opened the gate. He then followed us around closely as we inspected the pitch, which was bumpy on one side. It is very important to know the state of the pitch when you do the game plan. I asked our kit manager to give me water. I prayed over it and sprinkled it on the pitch. And that’s when the security guard accused me of using muti and started shooting a video of me with his phone,” claimed Makwengwe who went on to explain that the act was part of his mind games.

“I used pure water and not muti as the security man would like people to believe,” he insisted.

The coach further explained that it was when the securuty guard refused to delete the video that he wrestled him for the phone and in the process tore the security guard’s shirt.

“I knew there was a possibility that he would circulate the video on social media and spread false claims about me that I was performing muti rituals and I didn’t want that to happen,” said the coach who went further and reported the matter to the police.

“I am not a violent person. I was protecting my reputation and it was unfortunate that his shirt got torn in the process but I was not fighting. I am a Christian and I do not use muti!” Makwengwe added.

When reached for a comment Anaconda Security Director, Onalenna Molelo said that the security guard had overstepped his mandate and authority.

His duty, Molelo explained, was to provide security for players and spectators and to ensure that the facilities were not vandalised instead of shooting videos of officials performing pitch cleansing rituals.

Confirming the incident Jwaneng Police Station Commander, Thuso Basuti said Makhwengwe had reported the guard for shooting a video of him without his consent while the officer had reported Makwengwe for common nuisance.

The matter was however resolved amicably after the match and no charges were pressed.

Basuti advised people to control their tempers especially during football games to avoid making irrational decisions that can get them into trouble.

In the end, Makhwengwe’s mind games proved futile as his side lost the match 1-0.

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