In what could be seen as efforts by the military to drum up support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election campaign, a Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) music outfit, Crocodile Sounds, on Friday launched an album titled Garwe Rauya.
The nine-track album, which is a potpourri of genres and powered by a heavy sungura beat, was launched at a colourful ceremony at Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare.
Songs on the album include the title track Garwe Rauya, Nechombo, Amai, Handidi Kusara, Tamba, Iwe Nhamo, Zuva Rinonzi Nhasi, Mudiwa and Nechombo (instrumental).
Hordes of people last week queried the link between Mnangagwa and the military following the announcement of the album release by the army’s Mechanised Brigade.
Mnangagwa is known by the moniker Ngwena (The Crocodile) and his Zanu PF faction is called Lacoste — a French clothing label whose logo is a crocodile.
Yesterday ZNA spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore said there was no link between the president and the band.
“The band is made up of members of the Mechanised Brigade whose official mascot is a crocodile. There is no link whatsoever between the president and that band,” he said.
Meanwhile, music follows Mnangagwa everywhere. When he ascended to power with the help of the military — an event that saw Robert Mugabe deposed as president — in November last year‚ local musician Jah Prayzah’s song Kutonga Kwaro‚ aptly meaning “The hero’s rule”‚ was adopted as Mnangagwa’s unofficial theme song by his supporters.
The army keeps popping up indirectly as a stakeholder in the July watershed elections.
Last week‚ Finance deputy minister Terence Mukupe declared that the army would not cede power should Mnangagwa lose his presidential bid.
The government issued a strongly-worded statement castigating Mukupe.
But a day later Josiah Hungwe‚ minister of state for Masvingo‚ reportedly declared at a Zanu PF rally that Mnangagwa was a soldier and “if you want to run away from him he can shoot you so you should always know that he can shoot people who do not want to listen to him.
“Do you know that I am the leader of the new dispensation here in Masvingo and I say ichi chinhu chedu chatakaita (this is our thing that we did). Our leader Mnangagwa is a soldier and you know that a soldier is always equipped with a gun to do whatever he wants,” Hungwe was quoted as saying.
The opposition MDC Alliance’s Tendai Biti is also on record saying that the army did not take over from Mugabe to easily lose power at the general elections.