Reprieve for visiting international artistes

Sibhekisipho Fayayo
INTERNATIONAL artistes will no longer need police clearance from their countries of origin to perform in Zimbabwe. A�
This development was confirmed in a statement released by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe this week.

This condition was instituted in May and has caused challenges to promoters and artistes.

a�?Immigration in support of the arts and culture sector, agreed to waiver the requirement for police clearance to all international artistes when applying for a Temporary Employment Permit,a�? reads the statement.

The Department of Immigration communicated to NACZ in May to advise its clients that the department required a police clearance for applications of Temporary Employment Permits (TEP) for all international artistes coming to perform in Zimbabwe.

The police clearance was required to enhance planning and eliminate the risk of refusal of a work permit on those ground.

a�?Since the announcement, NACZ has been discussing with both arts stakeholders and the Department of Immigration to find ways that would protect the interest of Zimbabwe as well as ensuring that arts and culture activities are developed and promoted.

a�?However, the Department of Immigration still a�?reserves the right, in terms of law, to determine clearance procedures and conditions applicable in cases where the antecedents; national and prohibition status of applicant/applicants is apparently questionable,a�? reads the statement.

The development comes as a reprieve to arts industry who cried foul following the deportation of 44 international participants of Umoja Flying Carpet entourage recently.

The 44, comprised 16 South Africans, 13 Norwegians and 15 Mozambicans,A� and were expected to be in camp at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, joining 16 other participants from Zimbabwe in preparation for a joint act for the final show which was scheduledA� for August 9 at 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale, Harare.