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Gospel Album Cover Draws Ire Of Zimbabwe Media Commission

Zimbabwe's Media and Information Commission has taken issue with a gospel music album that came out recently, saying the image on its cover, showing the outstretched hands of the faithful, is an advertisement for the main opposition party.

The logo of the Movement for Democratic Change is an open hand.

Album producer Geoffrey Chaparadza told Harare's Standard newspaper that he was rebuked by the media commission for "spearheading opposition propaganda" with the cover art of "Zimpraise Volume I," a compilation of 15 Zimbabwean artists.

The album currently cannot be found in any of the capital's music stores. One leading outlet reportedly told the producers to change the cover if they wanted it carried.

But the music inside is inspirational only in a religious, not political, sense.

Bethan Pasinawake performs "Tinokurumbidzai," about praising one's Maker. Stanley Gwanzura, a.k.a. Pastor G., urges listeners to seek the Lord in "Tsvaga Jesu."

Musicians as well as producers were hoping to have the album out for Easter, but it appears that Zimbabwean fans will have to wait for the standoff to be resolved.

Arts correspondent Derek Moyo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reports that the latest word in Harare is that a cover redesign is in the works.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...