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HARARE — A pro-Zanu PF outfit torched a storm Tuesday after calling on authorities to ban Winky D from performing in Zimbabwe or receiving airtime on radio, alleging his music dabbled in politics of hate.
The Economic Empowerment Group (EEG), a supposed empowerment lobby group founded by Mike Chimombe, further drew the ire of neutrals after claiming credit for influencing Holy Ten to issue a statement regretting his association with Winky D in the making of hit song Ibotso.
The song touched raw political nerves after being interpreted by some as speaking about the social ills prevalent in Zimbabwe.
It attributes the hardships faced by the common man in the southern African nation to corruption by political elites “who steal from the powerless masses” (vanodya zvavapfupi nekureba).
Addressing a hastily arranged press conference Tuesday, the group claimed Winky D’s content “sows seeds of discontent and destruction.”
“He is leading the youth down the garden path,” said EEG Secretary-General Clifford Hlupeko.
“He should be clear if he has traded his musical jacket for politics. If he is now into politics we need to know.”
Linda Masarira who leads the opposition Labour, Economists and African Democrats party (LEAD), immediately came to the defense of Winky D and Holy Ten.
“I am a big fan of @winkydonline & @holytenmusic,” she tweeted.
“I will not allow them to be bullied by anyone for expressing themselves through music. Freedom of expression is a constitutional right enshrined in section 61 of the constitution of Zimbabwe. I have an ask, pane pavakanyepa here? (did they lie?)”
Independent Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa concurred.
He added: “statements by empowerment group @EEG calling for the banning of @winkydonline are unfortunate and with all due respect, nonsense. We are not a Fascist republic where artists have to be fed what things to sing about. Have we sunk that low? #IStandWithWinkyD #EurekaEureka.”
Opposition CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere called on Arts minister Kirsty Coventry to intervene in defense of artists.
“An artist’s social commentary on the state of our society and the lives of citizens is not” hate. The attack on art is regrettable indeed. We need new leaders.”
In the heat of conflicting opinions on Tuesday morning, Holy Ten, born Mukudzei Chitsama, appeared to distance himself from the song.
He said commentators, journalists, and activists had fueled political undertones which he had not intended.
“Activists, journalists, lawyers – Split opinions will not do any good for a brand that’s trying to serve & save everyone so help me by not acting like I’ve picked a side. Do not politicize a project that I’ve considered a mere honor to be a part of. I regret it now honestly,” Holy Ten tweeted.
Zanu PF director for Information and Publicity Tafadzwa Mugwadi immediately lurched onto the opportunity, and made wild claims, alleging Holy Ten’s statement was proof Winky D had been paid to push the regime change agenda.