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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Crisis Report Issue 201
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    July 19, 2013

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    Feya Feya features at Book Café

    Feya Feya, a campaign for free and fair elections, on Wednesday July 17, took ventured into the arts world when it co-hosted a ‘Teaser Party’ in partnership with the Magamba Network where a comic news bulletin, from Season 2 of the Zambezi News show was screened at the Book Café.

    Sam “Comrade Fatso” Monro said the purpose of Zambezi News, a comical and satirical news project, was to create alternative narratives, promote plural voices and encourage free expression without censorship or the threat of incarceration. “As we go into this important period we need to take humor on our side,” he said, adding that Zimbabwe had many divisive issues such as “race” and “land reform”.

    Comrade Fatso said Zimbabweans were entitled to participate in the elections “but to do it with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor” while reiterating that free speech should not be criminalized to allow citizens to freely critique their politicians.

    The Zambezi News teaser screened at the event is Episode 5 of a series with six episodes that satirizes Zimbabwe’s elections season in a cheeky tongue-in-cheek manner, but one that raises important questions about the meaning, nature and tragic things associated with Zimbabwean electoral processes.

    Subjects explored in the viewed episode include the lies peddled by politicians in their promises ahead of every election, the rigging of elections by means of stuffing ballots and the restrictive nature of the requirements for voter registration.

    The show is a witty take on the political idiosyncrasies that have become a norm in our elections and as such, the viewer can easily relate to the hard-hitting comedy show which is a daring artistic reflection of the situation witnessed by Zimbabweans ahead of the July 31 poll.

    In one of the viewed clips, a visibly drunk and young character who is a voter boosts that “power is in the hands of the beer holder” hinting who he will vote for and highlighting the susceptibility of youths to vote buying owing to their financial desperation.

    Incidentally, the issue of vote buying and coercion one that speaks to the concerns raised by one the 11 Feya Feya principles, namely principle number 5 which states that free and fair elections require, “That free formation of voter preferences takes place without coercion, manipulation or intimidation and the insulation of this choice through effective secrecy of the ballot”.

    Sam Farai “Cde Fatso” Monro and Michael “Michael Kay” Kudakwashe who are part of the cultural activist outfit, Magamba Network, promised the audience drawn from civil society, artistes, journalists and members of the public that the entire six Zambezi News Episodes would be ready for viewing soon.

    The teaser party ended with the screening of a catchy musical video by Even Mo Lil Swaggery Boys called ‘Ballots in the Box’, which calls for Zimbabweans to exercise their right to vote to achieve democratic society while emphasizing that they must do so in peace.

    Meanwhile, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) Information Officer Delta Ndou read out a mock speech on Feya Feya campaign written by a democratic activist, Vivid Gwede, to the audience.

    “Regardless of which way we look at our national politics we must feel the same comfort to reveal our standing and have the same freedom of speech.

    “We must have a vote that weighs the same for each citizen,” were part of the words in the mock speech.

    The venue was packed and those who attended the event walked away with free DVDs of the news bulletin and some feya feya paraphernalia.

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