Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe lambasted South African entertainer Zodwa Wabantu for not wearing underwear and said that he is aware that a decision to ban her from participating at official government events made him a “killjoy.”
Mugabe was speaking at an interface rally in front of a 10,000-strong crowd in Bindura on Saturday.
He said “I’m sorry we disappointed many men” before questioning why Zodwa would attend parties without underwear.
“You just come without covering your decency. What do you want? Men to see you? We don’t want such,” he said.
On her first visit to Zimbabwe two months ago, Zodwa was warned that Mugabe and other political figures would not “tolerate” her not wearing underwear, with some media in that country reporting that she would be deported.
She was billed to perform at the Harare International Carnival and told TshisaLIVE that she would only go if she was allowed to be “who is she.”
The organisers backtracked, only for government to step in after a local personality complained. Zodwa was then going to perform at a club instead of a government festival, but that was also cancelled at the last minute.
On Monday Zodwa told TshisaLIVE she believed that it was because of “political games.”
“The show was cancelled at the last moment. They said I must tell everyone that I am sick and they would send me money to cover the trouble. It’s a political thing. It was politics behind closed doors because apparently people were protesting that they want me to perform and sponsors were pulling out of the event because reports about me were drawing too much (negative) attention to the event,” she said.
The decision has drawn mixed reaction, with political figures weighing in on the decision.
“There are many things that are wrong in this country and they are not addressed. But suddenly someone asks about Zodwa and it becomes a national interest, as if it’s a state of emergency,” said a prominent political activist Josphat Ngulube.
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