THE National Arts Council (NAC) has said South African entertainer Zodwa Wabantu, real name Rebeca Libram, cannot be allowed to perform in Zambia as doing so would be against public interest and national values. But the promoter, Sunset Sound Production, has appealed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts against NAC’s refusal to clear Zodwa for performances.
According to NAC, Sunset Sound Production’s application did not comply with the three calendar months requirements as per NAC ACT 31 of 1994 (CAP 170 of the Laws of Zambia) under Statutory Instrument number 129 of 1995 section 25.
In the letter dated March 7, NAC director Maanka Chipindi further stated that based on the preview of Zodwa’s shows in other countries, the continuation of the shows here would be “contrary to public interest and would undermine the country’s values as per NAC ACT 31 of 1994 (CAP 170 of the laws of the Laws of Zambia) under statutory instrument number 129 of 1995 section 31”.
But in an appeal letter to the Ministry of Tourism, Sunset Sound Production proprietor Lucky Cheelo Munakampe said he was not given the right to be heard in case the council had some questions relating to his application before arriving at the decision to deny Zodwa clearance.
He argued that the two grounds given by NAC in their letter were not sufficient to warrant clearance denial.
“We wish to state that the two grounds given in the letter are not sufficient to warrant denial of clearance. Ground number one being that we did not satisfy the three months calendar requirement, we wish to bring to your attention that in January, Zambia faced a serious Cholera outbreak that made planning of such events unpredictable as no one could foretell when the outbreak would be contained,” read part of the letter.
“Kindly find attached a letter from the National Arts Council of Zambia for your easy reference. Your prompt response will highly be appreciated at the urgency of the matter and the fact that this event is scheduled to happen this Saturday.”
In response, Ministry of Tourism and Arts permanent secretary Reverend Howard Sikwela said only the Minister could make a decision over the appeal.
He said according to the NAC Act, only the minister would make a decision over an appeal and therefore, Sunset Sound Production would be informed of the decision soon as the minister was out in Germany on official duties.
“I wish to acknowledge receipt of the appeal against National Arts Council’s decision to deny clearance of Ms. Rebecca Libram. According to the National Arts Council ACT, only the minister can make a decision over this appeal,” read the letter.
“I will notify you on the decision from the Honourable Minister who is out in Germany on national duties or acting Minister honourable Dennis Wanchinga…”