By Joyce Mukucha
Zimdancehall producer DJ Fantan whose real name is Arnold Kamudyariwa, Chillspot Records co-founder Levelz (Rodger Tafadzwa Kadzimwe) and Simbarashe Chanachimwe known as Dammer have been granted bail this afternoon.
The three were given a sentence of six months imprisonment before the magistrate conditionally suspended six months.
They were arrested on January 4 for contravening section 5(3) of the S.I 77 2020 for partaking and convening a public gathering during a National lockdown period on New year’s eve violating COVID-19 regulations despite the government’s decision of banning wider crowds and urging the public to observe social distancing.
Slapping their sentence Harare Magistrate Mrs. Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro ruled that their plea of guilt was a sign of remorse but they did not take heed of the lockdown.
This Thursday, Harare High Court judge Justice Davison Foroma granted Z$10,000 bail each to the New Year’s Eve Mbare party organisers.
The trio’s event was attended by thousands of fans in Mbare Matapi flats. that led to public complaints that the large crowd was putting people at risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus as well as leading to a resurgence of cases.
This happened after pictures and videos were circulated on social media with many complaining that the trio’s actions had put several lives in danger, therefore, they had to be made examples for others to learn a lesson in the future.
Apologising to the nation, Fantan and colleagues told the court that they were readily committed to spearheading Covid-19 awareness campaigns to youths as brand ambassadors.
The gig organisers’ detention attracted a public outcry after some political and business figures like Senator Monica Mutsvangwa and Kuda Tagwirei who had organised similar events were not even arrested.
Others said the government was displaying double standards and cynical abuse of power.