BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday authorised the re-opening of the showbiz sector following pleas to his office from artistes across genres who had been financially squeezed by the long COVID-19 induced lockdown.
Artistes were suffocating from the effects of the lockdown that had turned some of them into charity cases since March last year, hence their decision to approach Mnangagwa’s office for relief.
The arts sector had remained under a hard lockdown amid fears that large gatherings would become super-spreaders of the highly infectious respiratory disease.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation deputy minister Tinomudaishe Machakaire took to Twitter to announce the development with pictures of Mnangagwa holding a guitar alongside contemporary singer Andy Muridzo outside State House.
Only 50 people will be allowed per live show, according to the government.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to His Excellency, Emmerson Mnangagwa for being a listening President. All artists have been given the greenlight to start performing considering they do not exceed the stipulated number of 50,” Machakaire said.
“Please join me in extending gratitude to our President for this gesture that I am sure will go a long way in improving the state of our artists’ livelihoods. May we also not abuse this privilege and ensure that we adhere to the World Health Organisation and national COVID-19 taskforce regulations outlined.”
Of late, artists through different associations such as Music Associations and Arts Promoters in Zimbabwe had joined hands calling on the government to reopen the showbiz sector.
Musician Selmor Mtukudzi last week took to Twitter to ask for Mnangagwa’s intervention, accusing government of impoverishing artistes.
Other musicians, including dancehall chanter Seh Calaz, had also spoken on the need for the government to consider their plight.
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