CHIMURENGA music exponent Thomas Mapfumo, has made an impassioned plea to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to restore the dignity of Zimbabweans by working hard to revive the economy and unite the country.
In a statement issued after arrival at his base in the US, Mapfumo affectionately known as Mukanya and a long-standing critic of the Zanu PF government said he had been touched by the plight of ordinary citizens groaning under the weight of a political and economic crisis.
“The last few months that I have been in Zimbabwe, afforded me the opportunity to experience the real life our people are living. I visited a lot of places including hospitals and schools around the country and my heart was very sad to see how things have deteriorated to this extend,” the singer said.
Mapfumo was in the country from December until late last month amid reports he was having trouble raising money to travel back to his base after failed gigs.
Then came the plea to Mnangagwa: “I would like to appeal to the President of Zimbabwe, Baba Emmerson Mnangagwa and the rest of the government to work hard and restore the country back to its former glory. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country and we would like to see our children and grandchildren grow up and live in a well run environment.”
Mapfumo has used his songs to critic the government and in the letter said he hoped these would help authorities see reason.
“I have composed and sung songs highlighting the plight of our country hoping this would help our government to do something about it.
“The welfare of our country is the most important thing more than anything else. Let us stop fighting each other as political parties and focus of working on rebuilding our country,” he said.
The singer confirmed penning the statement in an interview with New Zimbabwe Wednesday. Asked about reports of his links or support for the opposition Mapfumo said he had a right to talk to everyone.
“Nelson Chamisa (MDC president) is a Zimbabwean. Talking to him does not mean I have joined his party. I am not a politician.
“My call is for Zimbabweans to talk and unite for the good of our country. On that score I will talk to everyone across political persuasions,” said the legendary singer.
Mapfumo said with age his concern for “our country gets stronger by the day.”