Reggae music lovers were in for a disappointment on Friday when they discovered that the much-awaited comeback shows by the country’s reggae outfit Black Missionaries Band were postponed at the 11th hour.
Ma Blacks were scheduled to hold their first show since their hiatus due to the second wave of Covid-19 on Friday at Zinziri Club in Chileka. But as fate would have it, the show was postponed. Another show scheduled for Zomba on Saturday was also postponed.
In an interview, Black Missionaries Band manager Ras Ray Harawa said they postponed the shows after government officials approached them with concerns that they might not be able to control large numbers of people wanting to attend the show.
“They came to reason with us to put more measures in place to ensure a controllable crowd with a maximum of 50. They said they were not satisfied with our preparation as chances were that more than 50 people would show up,” he said.
Harawa, therefore, said they would come up with a more elaborate programme that will ensure that all Covid-19 preventive measures are followed.
“One of the ways to ensure a smaller crowd is by increasing the gate fee. Patrons will have to pay more than the usual K3 000 at the door. We will come up with more measures by the end of business today [Sunday] and by Monday [today] new dates and venues for our shows will be communicated,” he said.
Last week, Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango told The Nation that the restrictions on public gatherings are still in force and they expect everyone to adhere to them.
“To ensure that restrictions are being followed, we work together with Malawi Police who are responsible for enforcement,” he said.
The development comes hot on the heels of a concern from Bar and Club Owners Association (Southern Chapter) who accused government of playing double standards by allowing politicians to campaign freely with huge crowds while restricting the entertainment sector.
The association’s secretary MacDonald Soko said the implementation of the restrictions is strange.
“It is both surprising and very biased. The government is failing to enforce a ban on other forms of public gatherings such as markets and political rallies which pose a bigger danger of spreading Covid-19 but all eyes are on the entertainment sector,” he said.
In January, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 announced preventive measures, including limiting public gatherings to 50.