Clive Malunga


Zimbabwean politicians want to involve musicians in their political activities when they are campaigning to be voted into public office. Musicians would sing songs of praise and many a time such songs exaggerate the contributions and achievements of the politicians. Once, the politicians win power and are securely ensconced in their positions, they totally forget about musicians until the next elections or until such a time when they want to use them again. They seem to believe that it is irrelevant to incorporate musicians into their governance structures.

When campaigning for office, Zimbabwean politicians lie to the extreme. They promise people what they cannot deliver. They use music as an instrument that enables them to reach their intended targets with ease. However, it (music) is only used for the convenience of the politician. Musicians and other artists are never and have never been taken seriously in the country. That is why we have never had representatives in government who have knowledge about the arts sector and who can speak on behalf of artists. The Zimbabwean government does not seem to care about artists and the arts industry in the same way it has abandoned nurses , teachers and doctors!

The second Chimurenga was fought to free the masses of Zimbabwe from the bondage of the racist colonial regime of Ian Smith. The dawn of independence in 1980 brought very high hopes for a better life among the people of Zimbabwe . Instead, the very opposite of our aspirations is what we are getting. Zimbabwe is now known all over the world for the wrong reasons; the highest inflation on earth, corruption that stinks to high heavens, plundering of natural resources by a few elite , rule by an iron fist and grinding poverty among its citizenry.

It is heart-rending to see our beautiful country being failed by lack of leadership. We have been let down since 1980 by leaders who have no clue whatsoever about what good governance is all about. Selfishness, greed, corruption and evil seem to have been the guiding principles of our leaders. They have been focusing on self enrichment at the expense of the masses. While the generality of the population struggle just to stay alive, our leaders will , with proper disclosure , qualify for Forbes Rich List. Leaders rule by creating fear in the population and they periodically unleash thugs to kill and maim innocent citizens for daring to complain and demonstrate against unfair governance. Zimbabwe yearns for leaders who are patriotic and ready to lead the nation to prosperity.

My heart bleeds when I see that critical institutions like the judiciary have been state captured. In a proper democracy, the courts must be the citizens’ last line of defence against injustices perpetrated against the weak by the strong. On the contrary, our courts have become accomplices in violating the rights of the citizens whom they were set up to protect. It is now normal to pay for one’s freedom in Zimbabwe. Those without money will languish in prison even for offences they have not committed, while rich corrupt criminals continue to freely milk the country and terrorise the public with impunity. Justice must not be for sale!

Our leaders have been abusing music and musicians for their selfish ends for a long time Not contended with that, our leaders are now entering the territory of the church of Jesus Christ. The church of God is holy and those who have no respect for it can invite the wrath of God upon themselves. Zimbabwean leaders need to pray for forgiveness. It is difficult to imagine our country receiving blessings from God when our leaders pursue the line of arrogance and blasphemy. Politicians should leave the church as a place of worship only and not muddle it in their dirty politics. They must stop using religious organisations for political expediency!

Zimbabweans must stand up for their rights. In Zambia, the seemingly invincible the late President Kenneth Kaunda was defeated by a political light weight in the name of Fredrick Chiluba. In the past, Zimbabweans rose against the oppressive regime of Ian Smith and triumphed . Zimbabweans still have the capacity to determine who rules them.

They are the sole owners of their destiny. The time has come for people to decide to stay poor or prosper. True and patriotic Zimbabweans will never harm any one of their own because of political differences. We must look for leaders who have a vision of uplifting their countrymen and countrywomen from poverty to greatness. We ought to pray to God for a good leader.

With God anything is possible and we must believe that it is possible to get a good leader. Musicians must cut ties with hypocrites. We should cease to tolerate politicians who take us for a ride; those who believe they have a divine right to load it over us. How painful it is to be oppressed by your kith and kin! It’s far more painful than when we were oppressed by a white man. Musicians must distance themselves from politicians who use them for personal mileage and dump them when they have obtained their needs.

Musicians must compose songs which expose bad governance, nepotism, greed, money laundering , corruption and injustices in our society. During the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe, music played a pivotal role in mobilising the masses. Music was also deployed to inspire freedom fighters and boost their morale as they prosecuted the hard war of independence. War songs inspired freedom fighters to want to sacrifice their lives for the just cause of freedom.

Artists in our country must emulate Thomas Mapfumo, Solomon Skuza and Winky D for saying it as it is. Musicians must not be bootlickers of politicians. Rather, they must call a spade by its right name; praising the good and criticising the bad.

The duty of freedom fighters is to make sure that Zimbabwe prospers in all spheres. The people must be free from all forms of oppression including physical , mental and economic slavery. We must jealously guard our hard won independence. We must ensure that the freedom we fought for is enjoyed by all Zimbabweans and not just by a
select few.

Members of the opposition must not be viewed as enemies of the state. Slogans such as ‘Down with …” must not be used any longer. Down with somebody pronounces a death sentence upon the person mentioned. This slogan was relevant during the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe, for we were supposed to free ourselves through the barrel of the gun. Hence, the mention of death and destruction to the Rhodesian forces. What about now? Does anyone who opposes the ruling party deserve death? No, the people must be free and free indeed. We did not fight to replace Rhodesian oppression with ZANU (PF) oppression.

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