Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Comedians come under siege

By Blessing Masakadza

The creative sector seems to be under siege if reports of the arrest of Bustop TV’s comediennes Gonyeti and Magi is anything to go by.

Bustop TV personalities Magi and Gonyeti on set
Bustop TV personalities Magi and Gonyeti on set

The two were fined $20 each for allegedly wearing clothes resembling police uniforms in a 2016 skit titled Order and Law Special Unity which centred on alleged police brutality in the country.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba denied that they were arrested for a challenge that was done in her name #CharityCharambaChallenge but for wearing outfits resembling police uniforms. They were charged and fined for criminal nuisance.

Their arrest comes after fellow comedian Prosper Ngomashi better known as Comic Pastor was early this year called for questioning for a skit he had done before being released without charge.

He was called to the police after a skit with United States-based Alfred Kainga, which seemingly feasts on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s stunt of cutting short his leave ostensibly to help solve the doctors’ strike.

On Wednesday, rising comedienne Lorraine Guyo of the Ndinyengeiwo fame was on the police radar.

The latest crackdown has been widely condemned by several high profile people online, including politicians and lawyers calling for creative freedom saying such developments risk taking the country back to the Mugabe era.

Comedians usually tackle socioeconomic and political matters affecting people in a comic way and it seems this is making authorities uncomfortable hence raising questions over the independence of arts practitioners in exercising their art.

Some have called on the comedians to respect and operate within the confines of the law to avoid arrests. DailyNews