Zimbabwe: Outrage As Bona Mugabe to ‘Censor’ Public Entertainment
Bona Mugabe, Photo: The Herald
President Robert Mugabe’s daughter Bona Mugabe-Chikore has been appointed to sit on the new Censorship Board, a move which arts activists said it’s a “disaster” meant to “suppress information”.
The announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo Tuesday.
“The Constitution has a provision for the freedom of artistic expression, cultural beliefs and association and the same constitution empowers the board of censors to ensure that these freedoms do not infringe on other people’s rights,” said Chombo.
Controversial actor and producer, Silvanos Mudzvova, said this was being done to make sure artistic products are “silenced”.
“They will never approve any work critical of or against the government, ruling party Zanu PF or the First Family. And Bona will never approve any theatrical scripts or material that critic her father,” said Mudzvova.
He added, “It’s a final nail on the artistic freedom of expression but as artists we should just stop sending our products for censorship but take the government head on.”
Bulawayo-based theatre guru Raisedon Baya said the move showed how serious the government has become about policing freedom of speech, creativity, thoughts and opinions.
“Obviously now anything negative about Mugabe or the ZRP will not be able to see light at the end of the day,” he said.
The new board will be led by former Education Minister, historian and traditional leader Aeneas Shoko Chigwedere.
Other members of the board are Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba who is also the police national spokesperson.
Little known Kozani Ncube is the vice chairperson of the new board and father Fidelis Mukonori.
Chombo said the new board is expected to regulate public entertainment among other issues.
“The board must brace themselves for a challenging term in office in this era of increased internet and social media. There is lot of work for you and the government is willing to fund the board operations to ensure that you carry your mandate responsibly,” said the minister.
A couple of years ago, President Mugabe complained bitterly about how the online media was critical of his government and the First Family. In 2014, Grace told a rally in Marondera that journalists were taking bribes to write negative reports about the First Family.