The organizers of the Mbare Gig which was held at Mbare’s Matapi flats in Harare, popular Zimdancehall producer DJ Fantan and industry colleagues Dammer and Levels have each been handed 12-month jail sentences after they were found guilty for violating the country’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations through organising a New Year’s Eve bash that was attended by thousands of youths.

Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro jailed the trio which had pleaded guilty to partaking and convening a public gathering during a national lockdown in contravention of section 5(3)(a) of the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention and Containment) Regulations of Statutory Instrument 77 of 2020.

The three will however serve six months effective after half of the sentence was suspended on condition “that they do not commit a similar offence in five years”.

She also said the fact that they did not waste the court’s time contributed to their sentence becoming a bit lenient.

Magistrate Guwuriro said, “their plea of guilt was a sign of remorse but they did not take heed of the current lockdown curfew which ran from 10pm to 6am when they made the flier.

“By making the flier, they should have foreseen that the public would come in attendance taking into cognisance the area they intended to host the event.”

The magistrate said fining the three or giving them community service will be mockery to the offences they committed and will not be deterrent enough for those who may consider committing similar offences.

The three pleaded guilty when they initially appeared in court on Tuesday.

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