Release Zimdancehall fracas probe report

HARARE - The probe team set up by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) on November 8, last year to investigate the reasons behind the violence that blighted the dancehall clash organised by Chipaz Promotions held at the City Sports Centre was widely welcomed by music stakeholders.

When Nacz director Elvas Mari appointed the committee he instructed them to “Ascertain the real causes of the disturbances at City Sports Centre on Saturday, November 8, 2014 indicating how many people were injured and the damage to property and to interview all stakeholders involved in the showbiz industry as well as those involved in dancehall on ways to avoid the recurrence of violence.”

But sadly, the findings of this probe have not been released to the public even though the investigating committee headed by Nacz deputy director Nicholas Moyo completed its task more than a fortnight ago.

On New Year’s Eve, Moyo told his paper that his committee had winded up the 21-day investigation and had submitted the report to Mari.

Given the importance of the investigation, the first one of this nature into pervasive Zimdancehall violence, it is not surprising that the music community has reacted with disappointment to the delay.

Not surprisingly, the failure to release this keenly awaited report has triggered a wave of conspiracy theories.

Some are suggesting that maybe Nacz is unwilling to make public the findings because of its desire to protect the culpable parties.

Music fans and other interested stakeholders deserve to know the circumstances that gave rise to the violence.

They have a right to know if indeed members of the police threw teargas into the crowd and if the behaviour of the main dancehall performers on the night Seh Calaz and Soul Jah Love contributed to the mayhem.

More importantly did anyone die at the ill-fated event?

The findings of the investigation are very important because they offer us the platform to address issues that have made Zimdancehall a fertile ground for violence and unprofessionalism.

Continuing to put a lid on the findings is counterproductive as it gives rise to unnecessary conspiracy theories that may be very far from reality.

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