Speaking to The Standard’s chief reporter Everson Mushava (EM), Tourism Minister Walter MZembi (WM) said that Zodwa Wabantu and Gabriella Engels are being used to sour relations between the South African and Zimbabwean governments.
Below is an excerpt of an interview:
EM: What implications does the ban on Zodwa have on tourism and our relations with South Africa? How come the government has no problem with samba dancers from Brazil, Cuba and locals like Beverley, Zoey etc?
WM: If you follow social media and commentaries on this Zodwa issue, you will see its links to other unrelated matters, and how xenophobia and reciprocation issues are invoked by haters of sound relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The two liberation movements, ANC and Zanu PF need an intelligent and analytical conversation soon around how some of these characters like Zodwa, (Gabriella) Engels etc are exploited as pawns in a bigger game of distancing the two erstwhile movements and ultimately their governments and agendas, and we have not seen the end of it.
Both liberation movements have serious elective business ahead of them, and must understand these generational affronts better and how to react to them, especially in this social media environment.
Equally, our government agencies must be alert to these machinations and not play into them, sometimes inadvertently and torching unnecessary storms.
So when we correct them, it’s because we see better, and have a helicopter view and political competencies that they may not have or see in their narrow briefs.
Equally, we have very good relations with both Brazil and Cuba and understand their cultural heritage and they are here to endorse our carnival, but you can’t tell me advertising to a nation that I am coming to dance for you without a panty is South African, we know what is authentically South African and constructive entertainment for our people.
The local girls too self-censor when performing in public, we saw them last time.