Police bar theatre production

HARARE - Barely two months after the police stopped the performance of the play No Voice No Choice on political grounds, a different play, The Coup was also blocked in Bindura on Monday.

Bindura police denied the performance of the Rooftop Promotions production play at Chipadze Bus Terminus saying it was “political”.

Daves Guzha of Rooftop Promotions said for a country that has a 90 percent unemployment rate, it just boggles the mind why anyone would want to deny people decent employment.

“The people who are stopping us have no direct link with us. The professionals have looked at the content, they are happy with it, so which leg is ZRP standing on?

“What makes it worse is that they have not even seen the showcase but were quick to stop us from performing,” complained Guzha.

The producer said this was the second time since the creation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) that a Rooftop Promotions production has had a brush with law enforcement agents.

“In 2010 the cast of the play Rituals was arrested in Cashel Valley and we proceeded to have a full trial, hence the landmark ruling when the state lost the case,” said Guzha.

Interestingly, Lesley Moyo, Rooftop Promotions publicist said the same police station had on Wednesday last week cleared the show. The Censorship Board had also cleared the play.

“When the cast arrived at the performance venue on Monday afternoon they were informed by police details from Bindura Central Police Station that they could not go ahead with the performance.

“DISPOL assistant commissioner Chiwoko, who is in charge of Glendale, Chiweshe and partly Bindura informed the tour manager, Annamore Ziweya that the play was too political and therefore the cast could not go ahead with the show. He also instructed the other two police stations Glendale and Chombira to revoke the clearance granted earlier,” he said.

The play had a successful start at the University of Zimbabwe on November 19 and is currently on a national tour.

The Coup was written by Stanley Makuwe and revolves around a group of dead bodies crammed in a broken down hospital mortuary. The bodies decide to rise up and approach the country’s leaders to demand  better service delivery and good governance.

The play zooms in on failing economy, the demise of the industrial sector and the worsening of the health delivery system and also focuses on the relationship between the coalition partners in the GNU. - Staff Writer

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