Rooftop Actors Languish In Prison

Magistrate Nickson Mangoti said he will deliver judgment on Tuesday whether the Rooftop crew has a case to answer or not.

Cosmas Chibaya of Chibaya and Associates, representing the Rooftop members applied for acquittal of the accused persons citing that the state cannot sustain the charges his clients are facing.

“They can’t sustain the charges based on the evidence that is there and we are also agreeing Rooftop had a clearance from the censorship board and the Ministry of Home Affair which the police falls under,” said Chibaya.

Chibaya said his clients are being charged with criminal nuisance for beating up drums when they were performing at Nheziwa Business centre on January 5 2011. The actors were in Manicaland as part of a countrywide tour to promote the play “Rituals” that is meant to encourage Zimbabweans to shun political violence.

Chibaya in his defense cited that the accused persons are professional actors employed by Rooftop Promotions and the play that they were performing had been approved by the censorship board and the Ministry of Home Affairs to be staged in various places in the country.

“The sate outline is heavily loaded with the opinions and conclusions of the police,” argued Chibaya on Thursday. “The play did not cause any commotions at outlined by the police and the beating of drums is nowhere found in the state outline,” he added.

Chibaya went on to say the section that the accused persons are being charged for contravening does not cover professional artists because when they do their work they won’t be doing it wantonly.

Fletcher Karombe who was appearing for the state said he is not in dispute that the accused persons were permitted to perform the play but the state is of the view that what was portrayed was not in line with what was expected to be done as far as the play was concerned.

“We have a case to conduct this trial and it will be injustice for the accused to be acquitted without going for trial,” said Karombe.

The 10 who appeared before in court are Amina Lloyd Ayamu, Chipo Bizure popularly known as Eve in Studio 263, Zenzo Nyathi known as Mzambani on Amakorokoza, Mandla Moyo, Silvanos Mudzvova, Joyce Mpofu, Rutendo Chigudu, Norman Kamema, Mavuto Mwase and Singirai Muto who was driving the mini bus that was being used by the Rooftop members.