The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry has defended her “silence” over the abduction of artists, who fall under her ministry.
Coventry was responding to a journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, on Twitter, who has asked why she has not spoken out against abductions. In response, Coventry wrote:
How do you know I haven’t spoken about it? There are various ways of doing things other than simply shouting on social media. I have never supported violence of any kind to anyone, it doesn’t have to be an artist or a youth. Violence is violence no matter who it is against!
Earlier, Chin’ono had suggested that some people have avoided putting Coventry to task because they are intimidated by her achievements. He wrote:
There are people who used to make excuses for Kirsty Coventry because they are star-struck. She has NEVER spoken against abductions of youths and artists yet she is the Minister responsible for those portfolios. She is NOW as equally culpable as all the ZANU-PF politicians who do this!
Following Coventry’s response to the above tweet, Chin’ono challenged Coventry, not to “whisper” but publicly condemn the abduction of artists. He added:
I NEVER said that you support violence. Whispering about it and not publicly condemning it makes no sense to us as artists! Why do you fail to publicly condemn it and to visit those artists who would have been victimised to show your solidarity just as you do for sporting events?