Play on peace, community building

The Mutare-Haarlem Education, Arts and Culture sector has launched a play at Courtauld Theatre aimed at conscentising members of the public on the need to shun political violence.

The emotional and thought provoking play titled "Cat and Rat"exposes destructions of political violence within the family set up and the community at large.

The play depicts the gravity of polarisation and violence that has also infiltrated the church – an institution which is supposed to be on the forefront of denouncing violence. It features two church leaders Pastor Razor and Apostle Bhemba who were fighting one another to gain control of a larger congregation.

The play also cuts its teeth through the current political turmoil marred by violence as one church-going family ends up losingits only son – Liberty through politically motivated violence.

Mutare-Haarlem Education, Arts and Culture sector coordinator Keaven Smomondo said the play was crafted with the forthcoming elections in mind.

"The play was written with the forthcoming elections in mind. The message that we intend to put across is to try and create peace and at the same time build our communities as we approach such a time (elections)," he said.

Smomondo who also features in the play as Apostle Bhemba further said, "We combined the idea of religion and politics because if we are to look at violence, one will find that the perpetrators of political violence are the very same people who you find in church. The play serves to bring back people to their senses to resolve disputes peacefully."

During the review process, MDC-T chief-whip in the Lower House of Assembly Innocent Gonese expressed gratification in the play.

"My final judgement is that the play is perfect the way it is. Nothing should be changedor risk a situation whereby the audience misinterpret it.By focusing on a single family which fell victim to political violencegives it a touching and emotional feel and draws the audiences close to it. It terms of causing mayhem, I doubt it because it does not pin point anypolitical party," said Gonese.

Humanitarian organisations, lawyers, law enforcement agencies and arts critics were also present during the review.

The play will be cascaded to several suburbs in Mutare such as Dangamvura, Sakubva, Chikanga and Hobhouse.

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