Mugabe video grounds Freshlyground

2010-09-11 22:17

Johannesburg - Freshlyground have had work permits allowing them to perform in Zimbabwe revoked over a video which poked fun at President Robert Mugabe, the Sunday Times reported on Saturday.

The band's spokesperson, Sarah Barnett, told the Sunday Times that they had been informed by the Zimbabwean authorities that their work permits had been revoked.

"We were informed over the phone by an immigration officer that 'if we wanted to see why the work permits had been revoked, we just needed to see Freshlyground's latest music video'," said Barnett.

"The officer put down the phone after that and has not responded to any of our calls or emails to appeal against the department of immigration's decision."

The video for their song, Chicken for Change, depicts Mugabe as a rubber puppet. The puppet-Mugabe is chauffeured in a car and is seen reading a newspaper, Bob's Times.

Freshlyground were due to perform at the Wild Geese Lodge in Harare on October 1.

Barnett said the band had performed in Zimbabwe several times in the past without difficulty.

Zimbabwean senior immigration officer Godfrey Kondo told the Sunday Times that he had "no idea" whether the work permits had been revoked.

He said that he had been out of the office and referred questions to the band's local promoter in Zimbabwe.