Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THE Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Cde Patrick Zhuwao, has threatened South African socialite Zodwa Wabantu with arrest if she dances without panties during the Harare International Carnival (HIC) as it will be against Zimbabwean culture and a violation of the law.
Earlier this week, Minister Zhuwao wrote a letter in response to actress Anne Nhira who had complained about the participation of the “pantieless” Zodwa Wabantu, saying she “may” not perform in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the Joshua Nkomo Memorial Youth Symposium in Bulawayo yesterday, Minister Zhuwao clarified that organisers of the Carnival were free to involve Zodwa in their festivities but she must not violate the law by dancing pantieless and exposing her private parts.
He said Zimbabweans must be proud of their culture.
“We can’t borrow things from elsewhere. We can’t turn around and say dancing without panties is decent. It’s not, it’s disgusting. If they do it in South Africa, in Zimbabwe it is not done.
“Over and above that (dancing without panties) is a criminal offence. She’ll be violating section 77 of the Criminal Code so if she, (Zodwa Wabantu) comes here, she’s going to be arrested if she does that, so she shouldn’t,” he said.
Minister Zhuwao, however, said organisers of the Carnival should ensure that the South African entertainer does not break the law if they go ahead and involve her in their festivities which begin in the capital today. “We’ll assist her and make sure she doesn’t get arrested by making sure she doesn’t get the opportunity of breaking the law.”
The minister, who was accused by several social media users of having an affair with Nhira because of his response to her letter, denied having any relationship with her saying such allegations make it difficult for women to approach government ministers to complain about issues that affect them.
“As soon as the officials responded to her (Nhira), those that did not agree with her chose to say she’s Patrick Zhuwao’s side dish. Now, what does that mean for young ladies that need to approach the government? It means you cannot write to the minister and you cannot engage with a minister.
“And what’s most fascinating about it is that some of the voices are feminists or people claiming to be feminists. If you don’t agree with her position and her appeal, please disagree with her on the basis that you see things differently, but don’t label her as Patrick Zhuwao’s side chick. What you then do is you stop all young ladies from being able to interact with ministers,” said Minister Zhuwao.
There seems to be confusion by many Zimbabweans as to what Zodwa Wabantu does when she is on stage.
When she was in Bulawayo in July this year, all she did was dance the night away and did not at any time show off her underwear.
All people could see were Zodwa Wabantu’s famed thunder thighs that protruded from a body hugging black mini dress, which were occasionally exposed when she did the famed Vosho dance.
Each time she squatted to dance, she would cover her privates with her hands between her thighs.