Opinion & Columnist

Celebrities should lead by example

THAT all and sundry should abide by the law, moreso role models such as celebrities who society normally looks up to for guidance is not in question.

So celebrities — be they artistes, sportspersons, politicians, church leaders as well as journalists —regarded as torchbearers should ensure that their actions are exemplary.

Thus, it goes without saying that society perceives them as pacesetters such that each time they digress from the norm, whether by omission or commission, they tend to lead thousands if not millions of their followers astray. So their conduct in private and public spaces should be impeccable.

During situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, any irresponsible behaviour, like disregarding the prescribed safety measures by societal leaders could lead to mayhem.

That the infamous Mbare bash organised by the Chillspot Studios duo of Arnold “DJ Fantan” Kamudyariwa and Tafadzwa “Levels” Kadzimwe and sponsored by Simbarashe “Dhama” Chanachimwe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in total disregard of the World Health Organisation and Health ministry guidelines cannot be condoned is indisputable.

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Given the gravity of the offence committed by the trio, the courts would have betrayed other arms of the State had they let the trio gone scot-free.

Be that as it may, the police officers who countenanced the bash are complicity and, therefore, guilty of dereliction of duty. That is not in doubt. They too must face the full wrath of the law, for they are not above the law. Such recklessness should not go unpunished regardless of who committed the offence.

While some argue that the sentence on the Mbare trio was harsh that is not for us to debate. We demand justice for all — the rich and famous must abide by the laws of the land.

We also call on law enforcement agents to avoid applying the law selectively and to also pursue top government officials and some ruling party benefactors reported to have hosted similar parties in flagrant disregard of COVID-19 regulations with impunity.

Videos circulating on social media show that businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei also hosted a gig attended by many on the same date as the Mbare trio. We demand answers.

The nation is waiting with bated breath to know what will happen to the four top police officers who were suspended. It is not enough to transfer them as punishment, as has been the case regarding many police officers implicated in gross misconduct.

The law should take its course the same way it did with DJ Fantan, Dhama and Levels. Selective application of the law and impunity will make the country ungovernable. Life is sacrosanct and those who expose others to danger should face the music. COVID-19 is real and it kills.

NEWSDAY