Legendary musician Thomas Mapfumo has blasted Zanu PF for allegedly fuelling music piracy in the country.
Mapfumo, popularly known as Mukanya, his totem, told the Daily News this week that bigwigs in the ruling party are the beneficiaries of piracy.
“I have carried a research on the causes of music piracy in our industry and the results are shocking. Political heavyweights are the ones who own factories of music piracy in Zimbabwe and for this reason, piracy is not ending.
“Imagine the factories of music piracy were guarded by Zanu PF youths. That’s not how it should be done; political heavyweights are killing youngsters’ music industry,” Mukanya said.
The Corruption singer said he tried to engage the government in April, through the former Arts minister Kazembe Kazembe, but up to now nothing has changed.
“The government is reluctant to solve problems in the music industry because the big fish are benefiting from the rot. What the leaders are doing to youngsters is what was described by Bob Marley when he said kill them before they grow.”
Mukanya said despite this, musicians and other stakeholders should not stand aside and look but should shame the leaders by means of peaceful demonstrations.
“Time and again, artists should march to the Parliament House with placards, protesting against this abuse and violation of their rights. This will send a special message to other countries about the state of things in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Suluman Chimbetu who was at the interview with Mukanya said musicians have tried to address the piracy problem through series of raids but to no avail.
“First of all, musicians are not united. While others are pushing for the eradication of piracy in the industry, some will be fuelling it through sending their songs on various social media platforms as well as encouraging those selling pirated CDs to go on.
“We have since stopped raids after some of our members were threatened by law enforcers for allegedly breaking the law,” Chimbetu said.
Musicians Romeo Gasa and Togarepi Chivaviro concurred with Chimbetu saying the previous strategies against piracy failed to work.
“It is high time the public should be educated on the effects of buying pirated discs rather than prosecuting the pirates as this failed to yield desired results; they just get arrested, pay a $20 fine and go back to the streets,” Chivaviro said.