By Daniel Chigundu
CONTROVERSIAL South African dancer Zodwa WaBantu who was banned from performing in Zimbabwe over alleged immoral behaviour was actually a victim of Walter Mzembi and Dr Karikoga Kaseke fights.
Engineer Walter Mzembi was the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry while Dr Karikoga Kaseke was and is still the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Zodwa had been invited by promoter Biggie Chinoperekweyi to perform at the Private Lounge and was also seconded to form part of the street party procession that included the Samba Queens of Brazil and many other groups, but was barred last minute from entering the country.
Addressing a press conference on the preparation for the 5th edition of Harare International Carnival, Dr Kaseke said Zodwa and other people were just victims of his fight and Mzembi.
Dr Kaseke said he had been assured by former Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Obert Mpofu that Zodwa was very much welcome into the country at any time.
“…he (Mpofu) said we understand you are having your carnival next week don’t listen to what happened last year if Zodwa is to come let her come this was the government of the new dispensation so don’t listen to fights between Kaseke and Mzembi.
“Those where the fights between Kaseke and Mzembi, that is what you can read from there, Kaseke and Mzembi were fighting and it affected people who were not supposed to have been affected that’s is the truth about the matter,” he said.
Dr Kaseke added that they were fighting because Mzembi had instructed him to ban Harare International Carnival sponsor Justice Maphosa from sponsoring because “he had refused to have his company stolen by Mzembi, you can say this, you can write it, and he can sue me if he wants.
“Maphosa refused to have his company taken over by Mzembi, and after that, he also refused to sponsor Miss Tourism which was being run by Mzembi’s wife (Barbara Mzembi).
“Miss Tourism was a private event run by his wife you must know that she was running Miss Tourism, then he called me and said look Maphosa is not sponsoring Miss Tourism anymore and I said, Minister, I am sorry, and he said I should ban Maphosa from sponsoring carnival, a state event and I said I don’t operate like that and I will never operate like that and that is what cause all those things that were happening,” said Dr Kaseke.
According to the ZTA boss, Zodwa has not done anything to harm anyone in this country and had not invited herself, but had been invited by an entrepreneur to perform at a private function.
He said Zodwa had accepted to abide by the laid out conditions and that there was nothing immoral about her performances in the street.
“So there was nothing immoral about Zodwa coming here if you do that you have labelled people wrongly and it’s not good, you can’t label Zodwa as an immoral person, she is someone who is doing her job to fend for her family,” he said.
A lot of Zimbabweans were warming up to see Zodwa during the carnival only to be disappointed by the decision to bar her from making an appearance in Harare.