Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Farcical Trial of Owen Maseko

Owen Maseko

Earlier in March this year a Zimbabwean artist, Owen Maseko was arrested for his artistic interpretations of the ethnic massacre in the 1980s (Gukurahundi) in the southern part of the country. He was granted bail a few days later a his trial was set to begin this past Tuesday. He is being charged under Section 31(a) (i) of the Criminal Code Chapter 9:23: Publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state. Apparently he falsely represented the state in his depictions of Gukurahundi and 'undermined the authority of the President' - that's the second bogus charge...Are they serious? 20 0000 people majority Ndebele and Kalanga ethnicity killed, and the best the state can do is continue to deny this ever happened - despite the overwhelming evidence. It goes without saying that Mugs n Thugs Inc do not give toss about an artist's right to free expression but c'mon Prime Minister Tsvangirai, Ministers Tendai Biti, Nelson Chamisa, and David Coltart and Deputy Minister of Justice Jessie Majome - one of you members of the opposition has got to have the testicular fortitude (excl J. Majome) to call this BS right out. Maseko's trial has been postponed to the 13th of September and as we knowing the snail's pace of the courts this could very well be like the neverending 'trials' and incarcerations of Jestina Mukoko, Roy Bennett and the WOZA activists...unless someone in power stops playing Zanu's ventriloquist doll for a minute and actually speaks up. This is more than about justice for Owen Maseko, it's also seeking some sort of recognition by the state for the atrocities against thousands. While the state may have the power to silence artistic expression with as much force as possible, it doesn't change the fact that Gukurahundi did happen, the 5th Brigade Army did kill thousand of civillians. This is your shameful history, deal with it!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Co-sign to infinity, sis! Gukurahundi is now on trial not Owen Maseko's art and it's a case of the mighty State's 'we didn't do it' versus the evidence. Joseph Msika's such a prick for brushing it under the carpet years after denying the Amani Trust Report. For the sake of power, a Ndebele leader betrays his own people yet again.

ST

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