Chimurenga music maestro Thomas Mapfumo and #ThisFlag campaign leader Evan Mawarire have joined forces in putting pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government to relinquish power.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
The two met in Dallas, a city in north Texas in the United States on Friday where Mawarire was meeting Zimbabweans under the #ThisFlag campaign. Last month Mapfumo threw his weight behind the pastor, praising his courage in standing up for the rights of the people.
In a video posted on social media on Friday, Mawarire asked Mapfumo what role should artists in Zimbabwe play to address the socio-economic problems in the country.
“I think upcoming artists should sing and compose Chimurenga [revolutionary] songs that are critical of the government,” Mapfumo answered. “There is need for artists to sing revolutionary songs to put pressure on the government so that it addresses citizens’ concerns.”
Mapfumo is one of a handful of artists who have been critical of Mugabe’s rule.
Last month, after Mawarire’s arrest, Mapfumo took to social media to denounce the Zanu PF government, saying Mugabe and his lieutenants have “a wrong understanding of what freedom is”.
“Freedom is not about the skin colour, it doesn’t necessarily mean that since the country is being ruled by a black man then we are free. No,” said Mapfumo.
He said citizens should not sit on their laurels and watch political parties fight a lone battle.
“People should not wait for political parties, they should take power and we do not want to see Zanu PF… did they fight the liberation war to steal from the people,” he questioned.
Mawarire left Zimbabwe on July 15 for South Africa for what he called “a previously scheduled event”. He stayed in South Africa for almost a month doing campaigns under the #ThisFlag campaign before he left for the United States where he is on a whirlwind tour, meeting political and civil society groups.