Raunchy dancer Zoey Norleen Sifelani says her recent incarceration with Beverly Sibanda has helped them bury their differences.
Report by Silence Charumbira
The two were arrested on Wednesday on allegations of public indecency after the publication of indecent pictures by a local daily paper.
“It was not such a bad experience after all because we are now closer with Bev and we are even planning to hold joint shows,” she said.
She however said she had lost weight due to the incarceration she endured from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.
“When you are behind bars, you do not have an appetite. It is not like we were mistreated but just the lack of freedom takes away any enthusiasm you may have.”
The pole dancer instead described the experience as one to remember as they were the most popular duo in the cells.
“If we had stayed there one more night, we would have had a show because everyone was excited to see us,” she said before busting into laughter.
Beverly on the other hand was reluctant to talk to the press.
“I think there was a mistake because we are licensed dancers and the shocking thing is that we know the people who strip but they walk scot-free,” she said.
“Now we have lost close to US$1 000 in legal fees and other expenses but the good thing is our groups continued with performances while we were in cells, so we will recover.”
Meanwhile, legal experts have condemned the arrest describing it as unwarranted. The duo’s defence lawyer, Tichavona Mutebere last week said his clients had no case to answer.
“We are actually in agreement with the censorship board that the paper (that published the pictures) faulted because the girls are licensed for their trade and more-so the clubs that they perform in are not even supposed to allow any cameras,” he said.
Tawanda Zhuwarara, senior projects lawyer at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights: “Bev and Zoey cannot be charged with public indecency on the basis of the pictures that were published in the media.
“A careful reading of section 77 (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act reveals that an act can only be deemed indecent if it occurred in or near a public place, or in or near a private place that is within the view of the public.
“The pictures were taken in a bar during an evening show. Such a place cannot be considered public because access to the venue was restricted to individuals of a certain age and only those who would have paid.”
“In this instance, the provision is vague on what is considered indecent. It does not state which moral standard will be applied by the court in assessing indecency. What is indecent to one individual may not be indecent to another.
“An example; children are taught and encouraged to perform in public cultural dances such as Jerusarema, a dance that mimics sexual intercourse.”
Dancers Association of Zimbabwe public relations officer Justice Chinhema condemned the arrest and said the police should let the girls do their work.
“Dancing is their source of livelihood and everyone must respect that,” he said.
“There is no statute in this country that bars them from dancing. Stripping refers to nudity and they have never taken off their clothes completely.”