ZANU PF supporters on Saturday came to the rescue of Kassa Moto dance group after they were almost arrested by police.
By Winstone Antonio
The group was performing at Mashazhike Nite Club in Rugare when the police arrived and attempted to make arrests.
This follows weeks of arrests of women in bars on the pretext of reportedly loitering.
However, loitering refers to women who will be outside soliciting for sex, but in recent weeks even innocent patrons in bars have fallen victim to the police raiding bars.
Some dance groups have been arrested for indecent exposure despite having been licensed by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
Arrest of women in night clubs has continued in Harare over the past few weeks.
In Rugare, a section of people dressed in Zanu PF regalia negotiated for the group’s release as the two police officers were about to handcuff the girls.
Revellers at the night club expressed disappointment with the arrest attempt.
“The police are failing to flush out prostitutes in the Avenues area and lodges around the city, but coming to nightclubs to disturb the atmosphere as we enjoy watching these dance groups while drinking our beers,” said one Tawanda Mpofu.
“The police claim that they are carrying out an operation to ease loitering on the streets of Harare, but we see them entering nightclubs and picking up dancers on stage and this is sad,” Clemence Kasirori.
Veronica Zhuwawo, the leader of the group, said they were now operating in fear of the police despite being fully registered.
“Each time we are booked for a show, we are now uncomfortable since will be afraid that anytime the police might come and raid us and this has jeopardised our work,” she said.
For the past two weeks, a number of female dancers andapatrons in bars have been arrested and fined by the police in the Harare.
Dancers from Casablanca Queens were arrested before sunset at Khule’s Bar while Malaika Dance Group was also rounded up at City Sports Bar.
The Dancers’ Association of Zimbabwe has, however, been failing to protect members who are arrested daily despite most of the groups claiming to be fully registered with them.
Deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Jessie Majome was quoted in our sister paper The Standard condemning the arrests.
She referred to the arrests as “barbaric, draconian and grossly unfair”.
“This is so primitive and downright unconstitutional. Police acted outside the mandate of the Constitution by infringing on the right to freedom and movement for these women.
“As women, we have been robbed of that opportunity to freely exercise our rights. This is not the way to address social ills. There has got to be a better way which does not discriminate against women,” she was quoted as having said.