Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
MUSICIANS and nightclub owners have been warned over disregarding Covid-19 national lockdown measures set to curb spread of the pandemic.
The call was made by national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi following reports that there are some musicians holding shows in various parts of the country.
“We are receiving reports of musicians performing and inviting members of the public to attend and pay at various night clubs and places,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
“In terms of the law they are not yet authorized to conduct shows and we are warning them that the law will take its course against anyone found committing offences.
“Music concerts being carried out at venues without police clearance will be brought to book as robbers are taking advantage of such events.
“Reports of some getting injured during their performances and some engaging in criminal activities like robberies and theft have been noted with concern and we are urging musicians, promoters and club owners to be guided by government directives and measures set to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
He also warned operators of night clubs and shebeens in various suburbs that the law will catch up with them as well as kombi drivers operating outside ZUPCO franchise with reports that some are operating during the night.
In recent weeks, a number of musicians have been holding shows attracting big crowds flouting the Covid-19 restrictions like the need to keep social distance and avoid public gatherings of more than 100 people.
Names that instantly come into mind comprise Peter Moo who recently held a family show at Extra Miles, attracting a bumper crowd.
Dubbed the Dhewa Commemoration Gig, the show was held in memory of the late Utakataka Express founder Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo who died on October 15 2011.
With most fans starved of entertainment, a sea of fans was guaranteed and that was the case at Dhewa’s ninth anniversary, flouting the Covid-19 restrictions.
Prior the Extra Miles show, Peter staged another gig at East Point (formerly Jazz 105) where he enthralled a packed auditorium.
During the show, merry-makers went haywire disregarding social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Not to be outdone is Suluman Chimbetu who recently held a show at La Rouge in Westgate.
With Sulu being one of the biggest pullers in the capital where he never disappoints when it came to attendance, the main question which remained unanswered was failure to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions by some of the fans.
Another artiste who has been holding shows weekly is Andy Muridzo and the Jeetaz Band.
A couple of weeks ago, he performed at Margolis Resort where he attracted a big crowd.
Although the show was meant to be a birthday party for one of his benefactors, hordes of entertainment-starved fans graced the event.
At some point they had trouble controlling rowdy fans.
After the Margolis show, he went on to stage a number of shows in the capital at such venues as Pamuzinda Highway Xscape and Club Veritas in Westlea.
With the police still insisting that public shows still remain banned, a lot of questions are still lingering in the minds of many as to how shows are still being conducted freely.
Joining the list of musicians who have been holding a series of shows is Romeo Gasa.
The Extra Valembe boss who has made EastPoint one of his fortresses in the CBD performed at the venue three weeks ago.
On the same night that the 33-year-old was on stage at EastPoint, Andy Muridzo, Progress Chipfumo and Sasha Amadhuve were holding another pungwe at Big Apple Nite Club along Mbuya Nehanda Street.
Again, the Big Apple show attracted a full house but fans did not obverse Covid-19 restrictions.
To a stranger, it was as if the ban on public shows had been lifted as fans partied merrily with some going into a trance during Amadhuve’s mbira slot.
With many people in attendance, show organisers had already flouted the Covid-19 restrictions.
Then, there are other venues like Panad (formerly Pamview Gardens) nestled in the heart of the Willowvale industrial area that have been holding shows regularly.
Not to be outdone is Bar Rouge where public shows have become staple with a number of artistes performing there.
In the recent weeks, Baba Harare launched his album there while Sulu and the granddaddies of Zim jazz Jabavu Drive are also regulars at the same eatery and watering hole.
At Newlands shops, reggae sessions featuring Transit Crew have become staple on Fridays while Vee Mpofu holds mbira sessions at the same venue on Thursdays.
On the club scene, it is business as usual at Mashwede Gardens in the vicinity of Glen View where hordes of imbibers still frequent the place.
In small towns like Chinhoyi, club owners have been holding shows freely with the recent one being Jah Master’s show which ended in nasty fashion when he kicked a fan.
The fan, Bright “Britto” Mudhachi has become an overnight celebrity after he was pampered with gifts, money and clothes by the chanter as they made peace.
Still in the Mashonaland capital, CUT Hotel has been holding a series of shows with Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s brightest protégé Mbeu being a regular at the venue.
However, the country’s biggest crowd-pullers, Alick Macheso, Winky D, Jah Prayzah and the Charambas seem to be adhering to the Covid-19 restrictions.
The only platforms they have performed are virtual shows as they can’t risk people’s lives by holding public shows in defiance of the Covid-19 restrictions.