FRESHLYGROUND: State Explains Why They Were Denied Entry

Zimbabwe’s government seems to deny that controversial South African group Freshlyground was denied entry into the country to perform at the closing show of the Harare International Festival of the Arts because of a song they recorded about president Robert  Mugabe.

Freshlyground barred from entering HIFA

Freshlyground barred from HIFA 2014

The Herald quotes regional Immigration Officer Mr Francis Mabika saying:

The group was sent back because they did not have a valid work permit. Their permit had not yet been processed so they could not be allowed to enter the country.

According to the same newspaper Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga said that HIFA had been informed that the group might not be allowed into country a few days before they were billed to perform.

HIFA insists it followed all procedure and was not sure of the reason for  denial entry.

The denial of entry ha split opinion down the middle with some blaming HIFA for the fracas while some felt sorry for them. Some felt HIFA should have engaged government earlier especially when dealing with a group this controversial.

Cynically, some have even suggested that this is exactly the reaction HIFA wanted which if true would be both unfortunate and a bit surprising.

Freshlyground itself seemed to take a dig at Zimbabwe’s authorities saying:

Standoff to continue then?

Do you believe the state’s reason?

  • Cde Amai Ethan

    Freshly Ground ngavakwane. Twuma statements twakadai nditwo twunovarambidzisa kuridza muno ahii. Apa muzimba anobhadhara rough. Lol, vakatopotsa mari. kkk

  • Zimbo

    I believe they got what was coming to them, unfortunately it inconvenienced their fans, I still ask why it got to this level of them even flying into Zimbabwe, who leaves their house with no papers, hoping to negotiate once they are at the airport, to me the whole thing was quite disorganised

    • We think there is a lot to this story that is not being told. Maybe it was meant to force the hand of the establishment. We are not sure.

  • Sokostina

    ko was the cluck cluck necessary nhai Larry? its like in your face, manje ndokugerwa mazuda mumabhucha kauku!!!

  • stino

    this pple knew wat waz comng already…makamboona tuma vedioz twavo vachiwanzira mdara bhobho here..ndozvakaita kuti vamhanyiswe kkkkkk

  • Primmy

    Why would they need a work permit when they were not coming to stay permanently???????????? They could have just entered as visitors. This is really strange.

    • You need a work permit even if you are only entering for one performance. It means you are coming to do some work and you are permitted to do so in that jurisdiction.

      • Primmy

        Oh okay. So when all the musicians like brick n lace, Sean Kingston and all came into the country did they have permits? Is it the same as the work permit which takes long to be issued out. Wow. I thought it would be easy.

        • Every artist needs one. Taxes and so forth need to have been paid. Usually doesn’t take long. With some types of work it can be bought at the airport

          • Primmy

            Oh ok I didn’t know then well they were just unlucky. I couldn’t understand really

          • Don’t know about them being unlucky. They created this situation

    • chucknosis

      when an artist comes to perform in zim ,they need a work permit coz they coming to work …simple as that

  • Patriotic101

    Standard! You just don’t wake up and go to peoples countries… And then
    start looking for reasons to blame state officials who are doing their
    jobs. Asina mvumo ngaasa pinde munyika mevaridzi