The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe has castigated reports in some sections of the media attempting to politicise Bryan Adams' upcoming tour of the country. The Canadian rocker is billed to perform at the Harare International Conference Centre tonight and there has been a media campaign, which some local publications have fallen for, to politicise a normal music show.
The reports insinuated that Adams' show compromised the Canadian government, which is opposed to the government here.
The reports claimed Adams would "legitimise" President Mugabe's rule following his landslide victory in last year's elections.
The claims, however, fail to point out that countless other Western musicians have over the years come and continue to come to perform in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with The Herald Entertainment yesterday, NACZ deputy director Nicholas Moyo said people behind the campaign are pushing a wrong agenda because they are ignorant of artistic expression rights.
Moyo said, as an entertainer, Adams, had the right to perform where he pleased.
"Adams reserves the right to choose fans he wants to perform for anytime," he said.
"He has chosen to perform for his fans in Zimbabwe and people should respect his choice.
"He has a right to artistic expression. Such a right is recognised internationally and those making such reports are pushing a wrong agenda."
He said attempts to politicise a purely entertainment event demonstrated how desperate some people were to gain political mileage.
"For more than a month people knew Adams would be coming. Why make such unfounded claims now? Show organisers and Adams' management agreed on their concert terms and the clearance was smooth."
Adams' manager Bruse Allen is quoted in online reports discrediting the criticism.
"Bryan is an international artiste with a worldwide audience whether it is in Pakistan, Vietnam or Zimbabwe. To paraphrase what he has said over the course of his 30-plus-year career, everywhere he goes , kids wanna rock", he said
"Music will, I hope, always remain a universal language," reads the statement.
Show organisers said the musician arrives today ahead of the concert and leaves tomorrow for a tour of South Africa. Tickets to the show were sold out a within 13 hours last month.