Foreign artists no longer need clearance

Artists from overseas who want to perform in the country no longer need to have police clearance, a top National Arts Council of Zimbabwe official has revealed.

Cont Mhlanga
Cont Mhlanga

The development comes after a huge outcry was made by stakeholders following deportations of various artists perceived to be critical to the government and President Robert Mugabe on the basis that they had not first acquired a clearance from the police.

In May, South African pop music outfit Freshly Ground, which was billed to perform at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, was deported amid reports the group had not first sought police approval.

Sources, however, indicated they had been turned away for political reasons after producing a controversial video that denounced Mugabe for clinging on to power.

Recently, 44 visitors from three countries coming for the UMOJA cultural exchange programme were deported at entry because they did not have clearance.

NACZ’s communications and marketing officer Catherine Mthombeni, confirmed an end to the clearance system.

It’s a a score in particular for Zimbabwe’s prolific playwright, actor and theatre director Cont Mhlanga. He has previously castigated arts and culture minister Andrew Langa “for taking joy and pride from seeing projects fail” after he introduced the regulation.

“Immigration will still do the general security checks before issuing TEPs to international artists as before, but police clearances will no longer be mandatory. The development is in support of the arts and culture sector,” said Mthombeni.

Post published in: Entertainment

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