“Returning to Zimbabwe would endanger my life” says Thomas Mapfumo

In 2022, Mapfumo failed to come back to Zimbabwe to bury his brother Lancelot who had succumbed to cancer in the United States, where he was living citing his security in Zimbabwe.

May 19, 2024 - 10:00
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“Returning to Zimbabwe would endanger my life” says Thomas Mapfumo

EXILED protest musician Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo says returning to Zimbabwe would endanger his life despite permanent secretary in the Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry Nick Mangwana claiming that the government has nothing against the artiste.

In 2022, Mapfumo failed to come back to Zimbabwe to bury his brother Lancelot who had succumbed to cancer in the United States, where he was living citing his security in Zimbabwe.

“We have had conversations with Mr Thomas Mapfumo’s handlers, including Mukanya himself on the phone,” said Mangwana on X.

“He wants to hold his swan song in Zimbabwe, but he is scared that he will be arrested. For what?

“Nobody is interested in him. At the culmination of the second republic, President ED [Emmerson Mnangagwa] did not declare a single Zimbabwean a persona non grata [PNG].

“On the contrary he asserted every Zimbabweans cardinal right to come home (including during Covid-19 lockdowns).

“Mr Mapfumo and many other Zimbabweans did come home without any restrictions. Some continued their activities within and without the country afterwards.

“We are a democratic State and we don’t arrest people for free speech that doesn’t break our laws.

“Mr Mapfumo is a soon-to-be octogenarian, and we wish well in his remaining years. He has a lot of fans and detractors. That’s life. See you in Zimbabwe Mukanya.”

Pre-independence, Mapfumo was imprisoned without charges under the white-dominated Rhodesian regime.

He went on to be a fierce opponent and critic of the Mugabe regime which succeeded it. He was hounded by the Mugabe government and had to live in exile in the United States for two decades, he returned to Zimbabwe in April 2018 for the first time since 2005 to perform a series of concerts.

Mukanya has also rebuked Mnangagwa’s regime, which ascended to power through a military assisted coup.

The Vanhu Vatema hit maker said he treated Mangwana’s remarks with scepticism and would not buy easily into what he said.

“I’m not safe to be back in Zimbabwe, they have tried to destroy my life and my family,” he said from his base in the US.

“They have failed to do so. I don’t love money and if I wanted to be wealthy through notorious ways I would have because I was once with these people (Zanu PF), I was detained by the Rhodesian government for supporting these people who were at war.

“I was sent into Chikurubi, and if I continued praising them I would be rich now yet the people suffer and that is not what I stand for.

“I once came back, but this is a different situation now, by then they didn’t pose any danger to my life but now they don’t care; now they don’t care.”

Mapfumo added that Zimbabweans should revolt to topple the current regime.

“The ruling party has tried and failed, there is nothing that will change now and it’s up to the citizens to take action,” he said.

“Citizens should not blame the opposition and claim that Nelson Chamisa is weak, it’s the citizens who are weak and letting Zanu PF get away with everything.

“There was a gold mafia expose but people folded their hands, elections were rigged and nothing happened.”

Source – The Standard

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David Lee Munemo David Lee Munemo is a rising Zimbabwean journalist with a passion for making complex news discoveries accessible to the public. Driven by a belief in the importance of information communication, David's work tackles a variety of news fields, from groundbreaking entertainment research to the latest political news.