Zimbabwe: Music Promoter DJ Fantan Pleads Guilty Over New Year Eve Gig

(file photo).

PROMINENT Zimdancehall music promotersrnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan, Chillspot Records co-founder,Tafadzwa Kadzimwe aka Levels and Tinashe Chanachimwe "Dhama," have pleaded guilty to breaching Covid-19 regulations.

They were arrestedafter they organised a New Year bash at Matapi Flats in Mbare, during which 22 artists allegedly performed in front of thousands of audience against government calls to stop such gatherings.

The trio appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti represented by their lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni.

They all pleaded guilty and begged for mercy.

The trio allegedly threw a musical bash at Mbare's Matapi flat

They were charged with a count of partaking and convening a public gathering during a national lockdown in contravention of section 5(3)(a) of the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention and Containment) Regulations of Statutory Instrument 77 of 2020.

Mthombeni.said his client's were young.

"They are extremely remorseful and have offered their most sincere apologies to the police and nation at large. They are also extending the apology to the court," said Mthombeni.

He said the three assisted the police in dispersing the crowd in the process convincing those who resisted to leave the venue.

The lawyer said others who were arrested for the same offence have already paid fine and released.

DJ Fantan, co-accused being brought before a Mbare court

"It would be dangerous for the court to sentence them differently from how other offenders were treated.

"They are intending to assist the government as ambasaadors through arts in conscientising the nation to comply with government's efforts to combat the pandemic," he said.

"The lawyer added,"Court should assist the offender's by not breaking them but give them a sentence that will help rehabilitate them."

They offered to pay a fine and do community service at Matapi police station.

In aggravation, prosecutor Michael Reza said the three deserved a custodial sentence and $400 000 fine.

"What they did is akin to attempted murder, the seriousness of their offence must be reflected in the sentence," said Reza.

"Fining them or sentencing them to perform community service would trivialise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

They are waiting for sentencing

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