Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

All-female cops targeting dancers

By Vasco Chaya

HARARE – Female police officers have launched a blitz against prostitutes operating in Harare’s redlight “districts”. Code-named “Operation Zvanyanya”, the fresh assault seeks to flush prostitutes from the Avenues and lodges around the city.

Beverly Sibanda in action
Dancer Beverly Sibanda in action

The officers have extended their raids to nightclubs and rundown flats where prostitutes and their clients have fallen into their dragnet. But the arrests of dancers in nightclubs has not gone down well with the entertainment sector.

Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tadius Chibanda confirmed to the Daily News that there was an ongoing operation meant to ease loitering in the streets of Harare. He however professed ignorance that officers were entering nightclubs and picking up dancers on stage.

“Operation Zvanyanya is not targeting dancers but is meant to deal with the problem of loitering in the streets of Harare,” said Chibanda adding that he is still to receive a report of dancers’ arrests while in nightclubs.

“I am not aware that dancers are being arrested from the stage and I am still to receive a report of that nature and I will get back to you,” said Chibanda.

The Daily News has learnt that a number of female dancers were arrested on stage last weekend in Harare by female police details. Last week police arrested dancers from Cassa Blanca Queens around 5:30pm at Kulez Bar before raiding Malaika dance group at City Sports Bar.

Harpers Mapimhidze of Dancers Association of Zimbabwe (Daz) told the Daily News that police are failing to respect the dancing profession.

“The Dancers Association is not happy with the way police is executing its job. These ladies are fully registered with Daz and censorship board and we are failing to understand what the police are trying to do.

“Dancing is a profession just like being a police officer, so we ought to be respected in the society — not to be treated like commercial sex workers,” said Mapimhidze.

Mapimhidze said Cassa Blanca Queens are not the first group to be harassed at work by police as Cassa Moto was also arrested in Mbare a week ago at Blue Bar.

“Police are causing havoc in the showbiz circuit and dancers are no longer comfortable with their work — at first the police arrested Cassa Moto and no charges were made,” said Mapimhidze.

Last year popular dancers Beverly Sibanda of Sexy Angels and her mentor-cum-rival Zoey Sifelani were picked up by police in Harare and spent a night in police cells at Harare Central Police Station for alleged indecent exposure following semi-nude pictures of them published in a local daily newspaper.

Bev claimed police officers ‘begged’ them to perform their routines whilst locked in a tiny cell during their arrest.

“They asked us to dance after every 30 minutes— throughout the night and they really enjoyed us,” she said then.

Last year again Sophia Svinurai one of Leonard Zhakata’s fans was arrested on her way to her car from the Mugove singer’s concert held at Super Label night club in Harare. Svinurai was released after an hour or so without being charged. Daily News