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Partying Ministers go free as ZRP pursue DJ Fantan for COVID-19 violations

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa (centre) poses for a birthday snap with her permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana (right) and Home Affairs Minister (responsible for Police Zimbabwe) Kazembe Kazembe.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police’s pursuit of popular Chillspot Records executive, DJ Fantan, and organisers of a New Year’s eve concert attended by hundreds of poor youths at Matapi Flats in Mbare has been branded hypocritical for their failure to act on similar violations by high profile people.

Following public pressure to act on the Matapi event, pictures and videos of which went viral on social media, Police announced that they had begun investigations into the unsanctioned event and also made arrests.

Police announced they were looking for DJ Fantan in connection with the Mbare New Year’s Eve concert.

“So far 52 people have been arrested and we are looking for DJ Fantan, who operates a recording studio at Block 14 Matapi Flats, and David House Entertainment operators, for openly defying the Government’s COVID-19 measures on health, safety and security,” Police tweeted.

However, Zimbabweans blasted Police Zimbabwe for their hypocrisy and selective application of the law in going after the Mbare youths while ignoring violations of COVID-19 rules by government ministers. Early last month, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa celebrated her birthday with a party which members of the public claimed was in violation of COVID-19 regulations.

Ironically, Mutsvangwa’s ministry is charged with leading public messaging on COVID-19 safety measures and regulations. Her permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana, also attended the birthday bash, along with the minister responsible for policing, Kazembe Kazembe, justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, and transport minister Biggie Joel Matiza. None of Mutsvangwa’s guests wore masks.

Chief Executive of Sakunda Holdings and member of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisory committee, Kuda Tagwirei, also hosted a New Year’s eve party whose videos and photos have gone viral. None of the attendees, including Tagwirei himself, wore any masks or practised social distancing.

Legal expert and political commentator Alex Magaisa posted a picture of Mutsvangwa’s birthday bash and called out the hypocrisy of Police Zimbabwe for going after organisers of the Mbare concert while taking no action against high profile violators of COVID-19 regulations.

“So @PoliceZimbabwe have no problem with these ones? They just want Fantan & the Mbare crew? COVID19 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!,” he tweeted.

Zimbabwe is facing rising cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths. As at 1 January 2021, the country had 14,084 confirmed cases, including 11 347 recoveries and 369 deaths.

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