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After Command Performances, Zimbabwe Police Free 'Final Push' Actors

Zimbabwean authorities Monday released three men arrested over the weekend for staging a play called “The Final Push” about the country's political crisis, though not before Harare police obliged them to perform the play over and over again.

Actors Anthony Tongani and Sylvanos Mudzvova and journalist James Jemwa now face charges under the country's Censorship and Entertainment Act. Sources said Jemwa challenged the arrest of the actors, leading police to arrest him too.

Plainclothes police arrested the three men after their performance at the Theater in the Pari in Harare Gardens late Saturday after taking in the play from the audience.

In the play, ruling party and opposition politicians are caught in an elevator together, obliging them to talk. The title "Final Push" refers to an unsuccessful attempt by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in 2003 to spark a massive popular upsurgence which would force President Robert Mugabe out of office.

Actor Mudzvova told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that officers at Harare Central Police Station made them to perform the play 12 times.

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