HARARE - South African Afro-pop group Freshlyground was denied entry into Zimbabwe, an official said Monday, apparently over a song portraying President Robert Mugabe as a “chicken” afraid to relinquish power. Freshlyground flew into Zimbabwe on Sunday, where they were billed to perform as the main act at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), but were turned back at the Harare international airport.

“The group was sent back because they did not have a valid work permit,” Francis Mabika, Zimbabwe immigration spokesman said. “Their permit had not been processed so they could not be allowed to enter the country.” Mabika would not give details of why the permit was not processed.