Freshlyground barred from Zimbabwe for Mugabe caricature

The group’s spokesperson, Sarah Burnett told Radio VOP by phone from Cape Town that they were trying to negotiate.

“We are trying to negotiate and i can comment much now because we are in the process of negotiations, i should be able to make an official comment tomorrow,” said Burnett without saying why they were now facing difficulties in getting working visas in Zimbabwe.
The group has in the past performed at several shows in Zimbabwe without encountering any problems and has build a steady following among Zimbabweans.
The organisers of the show also told the media this week that the group’s working visas which had already been issued had been revoked by the Immigration Department in unclear circumstances.


“Their visas were revoked and the show has been cancelled and that’s all I can say,” said Kirtsy Coio of Event Solutions in a cautious
response. Event Solutions a Harare-based event management company was organising the high profile show.
An immigration official based at the Liquenda House headquarters of the Immigration Department confirmed the cancellation of the group’s
working visas. “Yes we cancelled the visas for that music group,” said Evans Siziba, an immigration official.
The department’s policy does not oblige it to give reasons for turning down visa applications.
Freshlyground’s Chicken to Change video, done in collaboration with the satirical internet show Za News pokes fun at Mugabe.
In the song the group’s lead singer Zolani Mahola sings about what a noble “super nova” Mugabe was but then says somewhere along the way he fell.
The video which is shown on M-Net was filmed in Cape Town and features Freshlyground members dressed in Zimbabwean –style 1980s fashion.