CHIMURENGA music maestro Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo, has challenged Zanu PF to first practice good governance and foster unity in deeply-divided Zimbabwe before demanding the removal of sanctions from the West.
The United States slapped Zimbabwe with sanctions through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 over human rights abuses by former president Robert Mugabe following a chaotic and violent land reform programme.
The sanctions were renewed this year by US president Donald Trump’s administration, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF government has blamed the embargoe for the deterioration of the economy and has been on a charm offensive to persuade the Americans to lift the sanctions.
But Mapfumo, whose hard-hitting songs have become legendary for speaking truth to power, said the government should stop playing with people’s lives.
“Let’s practice good governance first. We are the ones causing these sanctions, not the outside world. If we are not agreeing among ourselves, they will remain.”
“What we have is politics of corruption, not development.
“Even well-known thieves hold senior positions in government …there is too much corruption instead of them building infrastructure such as schools, freeways and hospitals.
“Political bickering caused by partisan politics is taking centre stage.
“Our politics is backwards, more than 38 years of political fights without any development on the economic front is too much,” he said.
Mapfumo added that political elites were busy destroying the country’s future by taking both the fruit and the branch from the tree yet they want to eat the fruit only.
“Our politics should put more focus on developing the economy, so that we leave an inheritance for our children,” he said.
The Chimurenga music maestro said it was sad that Zimbabwe had witnessed insignificant development after the Zanu PF government took over from Ian Smith’s regime at independence in 1980.
Mapfumo said Africa was not united and this had led the resource-rich continent to always have to extend the begging bowl to countries like China.
Mapfumo went into self-imposed exile under Mugabe’s rule and resurfaced back home after the November military coup that ushered in Mnangagwa’s rule.
Some believed it was a sign that he was warming up to Mnangagwa’s rule.
However, Mapfumo has not changed his stance against the Zanu PF government, blasting it for its failure to restore the country’s economy.
Mapfumo is expected back in the country this month for a “Peace” concert. It will be his second visit to the country since Mnangagwa took over in November last year.
He has lined up eight shows around the country, which will provide an opportunity to his fans to watch him live.
— The Standard