By Lance Guma
This was the moment Rutendo Tapiwa Chigudu, an award winning literary and performing artist/feminist who writes for Nehanda Radio, met former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda at his home in Lusaka.
Rutendo was in Zambia on tour with the play ‘Rituals’ and got the opportunity to talk with Kaunda. The former president spoke about how political parties who brought about independence want to hold on to power forever. The discussion also focused on issues of violence and efforts to build peace.
Last year in January, the Rooftop Promotions ten member team behind “Rituals”, which included 8 artists, 1 driver and 1 tour manager embarked on a national tour before they were arrested and detained at Cashel Valley Police station in Manicaland.
The team had just finished two performances that day when they were invited to the police station to answer a few questions. They were to be detained for two nights without any clear charges. It was later claimed they had committed ‘criminal nuisance’ under section 46 and the crime was ‘disturbing peace’.
The group was later acquitted in March after a marathon trial.
The play ‘Rituals’ is directed and produced by Daves Guzha with a cast that includes Chipo Bizure popularly known as Eve in Studio 263, Zenzo Nyathi (Mzambani on Amakorokoza, Silvanos Mudzvova, Mandla Moyo, Joyce Mpofu and Joshua Mwase.
On Monday another Rooftop Promotions play ‘The Coup’ was blocked from being performed at Chipadze Bus Terminus in Bindura by overzealous policemen. This comes barely two months after the police stopped another play ‘No Voice No Choice’ again claiming it was ‘political.’
Daves Guzha said “the people who are stopping us have no direct link with us. The professionals have looked at the content, they are happy with it, so which leg is ZRP standing on? What makes it worse is that they have not even seen the showcase but were quick to stop us from performing,” complained Guzha.