BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
SOCIAL media was for the better part of the weekend awash with news that Zimdancehall hype man and Chillspot Records boss Fantan was on the run from police for allegedly flouting COVID-19 regulations on New Year’s eve by hosting a massive “pasa pasa” gig in Mbare.
While police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Fantan was on their wanted list, the controversial DJ appeared to make jokes about the entire ruckus on his social media accounts.
“Ndo slogan iri muma groups ese iyi hahahaha amana [This is the slogan in all social media groups, guys]. Jokes aside pray for me….” Fantan captioned a snap on Instagram.
Apart from the reported 52 people that were picked up in relation to the gig so far, it is still unclear what consequences, if any, await Fantan, promoters of the gig and artistes that performed on the night.
However, the matter has sparked debate around the issue of selective application of the law in the country, particularly where pandemic regulations are concerned.
Many ordinary netizens feel that politicians and wealthy citizens appear to be excused from restrictions as images and videos of some of them partying on the same night could be seen all over the internet.
Popular outlets such as Mashwede along Glen Eagles Road, Solomon’s Lifestyle Café along Willovale Road and Dreams in the city centre were all packed to the brim as people awaited the New Year.
“Haaa everyone was open on New Year’s eve. Every nightclub was full don’t target individuals,” a Twitter user under the handle @VMusinachirevo responded to one of the tweets by police.
”So @PoliceZimbabwe have no problem with these ones? They just want Fantan and the Mbare crew? COVID-19 regulations do not apply to this lot? It’s this selective application of rules that makes law enforcement and the government’s approach to this pandemic a total joke!” prominent UK-based lawyer @Wamagaisa (Alex Magaisa) wrote, captioning pictures of ministers embracing each other at a recent party.
Another renowned lawyer Brian Kagoro said: “#AfricanLivesMatter I assume police and other law enforcement agent have members that reside near the locations of the Mbare and Dreams Night Club New Year bashes and were patrolling the town that night? If so, how come it only took social media outrage for action to be taken?
“#AfricanLivesMatter @nickmangwana @edmnangagwa I and other citizens are very curious, each time 10 opposition supporters led by @nelsonchamisa gather, the police arrive almost instantly to disperse them. How do such big crowds gather near Zanu PF headquarters and Mbare police station unnoticed?”
Meanwhile, arts stakeholders have laid bare worries around the stringent lockdown announced by Health minister Constantino Chiwenga on Sunday saying they will further affect the lives of creatives.
Artistes in the country have relied largely on cash from crowds at events but that will be impossible for the month as government moves to curb the raging second wave of the pandemic.
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