By Latwell Nyangu
LEGENDARY film director Davies Guzha said they are just creative artists who have no intentions to fight the State and Government.
He said they have been in the industry for more than 30 years and are well versed with the statutes that guide the industry.
Guzha was speaking at a press briefing following his arrest along with three of his colleagues over the weekend.
Guzha, the owner of the Theatre in the Park, Peter Churu, Kudakwashe Bwititi, and Tendai Maduwa were arraigned before Harare Magistrates’ court for allegedly releasing the film Lord of Kush without the approval of the censorship board.
“Our arrest represents an unfortunate low in the relationship between the creative sector and state governance systems in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe Republic Police were clumsy in the way that they carried out their mandate in this instance and it is our belief that this was an abuse of their constitutional powers and a blatant violation of our artistic and constitutional freedoms.
“The last time we had a run in with the police was with the last dispensation.
“We are extremely familiar with the censorship act by being in business for the last 24 years and myself having been a producer for over 35 years, so I am pretty familiar with those acts.
“We had really hoped to move the country forward and paint a positive picture for our country which we really believed in.
“So we are very clear as Zimbabweans and we care about this country,” he said.
Added Guzha: “We are just artists, tiri macreatives, taane makore tirimo musector umu, we are simply known as for this, as vanhu vaye vaye vemafirimu, vetheatre.
“But I am sure we will be having dialogue, we are here to create employment, to enable the cultural and creative industry kuti zviite.
“Asi dai tanga tichiita zviri untoward, tiri kungoita zvatangotaura kuti ndozvatiri kuita.”
Guzha said Rooftop Promotions has been in business since 1986.
“When you have been in business for many years you become very familiar with almost every other statutes that applies to our sector.
“Having survived during the time when it was difficult munguva yavaMugabe there is no way we can become clumsy in this era.
“We also know there are things exist in the constitution and as producers we are familiar
“Through the creative and cultural sector we need each other, if we have any hope of repairing the image of the country.
“The fastest way of repairing the image of this country is through this industry.
“The creativity and cultural industry has zero interface with the president’s office and we received a call from the embassy telling us that whatever we were about to show could be a security threat.
“We told them that they should be in touch with foreign affairs rather coming to us before they highlighted the concern.”
The veteran producer said they didn’t interface with the Censorship board.
“We will leave that for August 26 when the trial begins and we will get to the bottom of this.
“We want to view this incident and we will not allow anybody to come and destroy good sentiments.
“We will not censor our work, because if we didn’t censor it during the most difficult era of former president Robert Mugabe why now, we remain committed and resolute, we will still continue to express our self without limits.”
The film producer Tendai Muduwa said:
“Lord of Push is a work of fiction, it’s not a documentary film inspired by a real incident that happened in Pakistan.
“All the characters are fiction just like Black Panther and we have never in any way become a threat to the leadership, politics of either Zimbabwe or Pakistan but we are social commenters who can make films out of inspiration.
“Why this film in particular yet we have many films.
“We actually believe that arts industry is where other industries fits in and we have high opportunities to employ.
“This is the industry which be the enemy of the State but we are rather contributing and creating employment.”
Theatre in the Park manager Peter Churu said:
“We are not at war with our government and we have a respectful and mutual discussion with officers from cabinet and president’s office.
“They were satisfied with what we told them and they even said they would do their own reports before giving us a go ahead.
“They were understanding on the facts we laid on the table,” he said.
The film is centred on a diplomatic family in Kush and the family is Christian family in Muslim economy. In the running of the story there is a mother to the ambassador who is Christian but teaches the children in the Islamic region which created a conflict with the Islamic religion leading to the fight of the extremists groups. H Metro