21 June 2007

Zimbabwe: Cont Vows Defiance

Harare — BULAWAYO playwright Cont Mhlanga has vowed that he will not rewrite his controversial play: The Good President, because that would change its import, that of protest theatre.

The play was scheduled to run in Bulawayo from Wednesday to Saturday last week but was banned by the police who claimed it contravened sections of the Public Order and Security Act and undermined the authority of the President.

Police said Mhlanga had to rewrite the script and have it approved if he wanted to stage the play in the city, but he says he cannot do that.

Ironically the play ran in Harare at the Theatre in the Park from April 12 to 20. It had a total of 16 shows while Bulawayo was only going to have nine shows.

Mhlanga refuted claims in a local daily that he had agreed to rewrite the play.

"My story is based on fact, so how do I rewrite it? When I say opposition leaders were beaten up by the police, this is fact, how can I change that?" he asked.

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