In a major blow that is going to affect musicians, law enforcement has banned live recordings of music concerts, lockdown parties and like gatherings under the latest lockdown measures and those found on the wrong side of the law, will be arrested and prosecuted.
Funerals are the only gatherings that are allowed under the latest lockdown that came into effect on Tuesday. A maximum of 30 people are allowed to gather for a funeral, The Chronicle reports.
Last year, during the lockdown, artistes were recording their video content at various studios and holding lockdown parties that they broadcasted online.
During these recordings, there was normally a technical team and a bunch of artists.
This entails that, the Best of Both Worlds show featuring Winky D and Jah Prayzah would be illegal if hosted.
Interestingly, the show which was stopped at the eleventh hour two weeks ago is now set to be held today following approval from the relevant authorities, The Chronicle reports.
However, there will be no crowd when the two stars perform at the HICC and fans will only access the show online.
Kayse Connect spokesperson, Elton Kurima confirmed the new development.
“We’ve held meetings with police and other relative authorities who have cleared us to host the show. But, as agreed, it will only be held virtually with no attendees except for the technical team,” he said.
However, according to Bulawayo province police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube, such gatherings according to law are illegal.
“A gathering according to the law is more than three people. Even if they are people who are congregated outside, if they are more than three, they are a gathering and they can be arrested. Only a funeral is the one that’s exempted and according to the regulations, it should have a maximum of 30 people, the rest are gatherings,” said Insp Ncube.
He warned people not to be caught on the wrong side of the law.
“Some people hold these recordings in places that they think are secluded, but as long as it is a gathering, this is illegal and those risk to be arrested and prosecuted,” said Insp Ncube.
Following the arrest and subsequent conviction of Chillspot Records duo, DJ Fantan (Arnold Kamudyariwa) and DJ Levelz (Tafadzwa Kadzimwe) who were both jailed six months for holding a show in Mbare, Harare, when the country was under lockdown, artistes are now afraid of being found on the wrong side of the law.
During the lockdown last year, artistes had started to embrace online shows and some began generating income for them. Platforms such as Credisi, Gara Mumba Iwe, Nash Tv’s Friday Night Live shows, FMG’s Lockdown Parties and the like sprouted.
Most recently, gospel artiste Janet Manyowa launched her EP through a Pay Per View show that was held virtually from the HICC. The Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards were held online without many people but police on that night ended up bursting on stage to shut down the show as it had gone past the agreed time.
It seems with what the police are saying artistes should stay at home because holding such productions might land them in the same fate as DJ Fantan and DJ Levelz.