By Justin Mahlahla
Fifty-two people have been arrested as police investigate circumstances surrounding a music concert held in Harare’s Mbare suburb on New Year’s Eve.
Speaking to ZBC News, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are looking for the chief suspect in the case, popular music promoter, Fantan, who is allegedly on the run.
“We are conducting investigations and so far indications are that 52 people were arrested when police moved in to stop this bash, and we are told Fantan has a studio in Mbare where he puts speakers outside and plays music. He is now on the run. Police are currently looking for him,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.
“We want to assure the public that definitely, action will be taken. We are also conducting investigations to find out what really the police officers on the ground did… what role they played.”
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi pleaded with the public to remain vigilant and cautious in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.
“We want to urge the public, let us be responsible. Covid-19 is real. Let us not wait for someone to tell us to behave responsibly. Let us not wait for somebody to tell us that covid is killing people daily, including in our own country. Please, I want to appeal to the public: let us be safety-conscious and fight the covid-19 pandemic together. Let us support the efforts of the government; let us not take things for granted and cry foul when we have contracted the pandemic, when someone has died,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said they are also concerned about reports that a certain businessman hired sungura maestro Alick Macheso to perform at a family birthday celebration in Watsomba, Manicaland.
“The businessman is now also facing charges of contravening covid-19 regulations, where it is said twenty people attended the celebrations, but we want to verify. We are also aware that Macheso had been hired to perform on the 31st of December by another businessman in Mutare. That event was stopped by the police. so we want musicians to be responsible. Let’s not take for granted the issue of covid.”
He added: “Musicians should comply with covid-19 regulations. Business-people should comply with covid-19 regulations. This includes members of the public. Please, please, let us not wait for the police to force us to wear a mask, to practise social distancing, to sanitise.”
Zimbabwe is currently under a lockdown that enforces a curfew order running from 2200 until 0600hrs the next day. Parties and gatherings held during this time are contravening covid-19 regulations.