DANCEHALL chanter Wallace Chirumiko, otherwise affectionately known as Winky D, has sparked a fiery debate following his December 31, 2023 show at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
The dreadlocked singer has set ablaze social media platforms as tongues wage that the show was not a musical show, but a political rally.
The show dubbed Ghettocracy Score celebrated the musician’s two decade milestone in the music industry.
“Winky D is a politician!! This event (HICC show) was a political rally,” Zanu PF patriots posted on X (formerly Twitter). “We have no problem with Winky D the musician. This event (HICC show) was a political rally and not a music show.”
Contacted to comment on the issue, Zanu Pf Information Director Farai Marapira said Winky D is abusing his artistic privileges to attack government.
“It is unfortunate that Winky D, an artiste relevant (sic) because of a decided Zanu PF policy in the early 2000s to uplift local art has taken the same gift handed to him to attack the benevolent hand,” Marapira said.
“As Zanu PF we promote and appreciate freedom of speech as it is a tenet we went to war for. However, as one exercises their right they must also appreciate that others will exercise their right to comment on the same, that being said Winky D used a musical platform once again as we now note he does at every album release to delve into political matters.
“As a political party we have a right to assess his actions and respond politically also, of course as always within the tenets of the law. Let it be also known that as his musical star wanes he has decided to delve into politics to hopefully get attention and more views on his ailing musical career. A mammoth party like Zanu PF is not really bothered by a miniscule actor such as him because everyone seeks relevance by speaking about the party.”
When NewsDay Life & Style contacted Winky D’s manager, Jonathan Banda for comment on the allegations, he claimed that he had not yet seen the tweet.
“I have not yet seen the tweet, but in simple logic, does Winky D fit in the category of being a musician? The answer is a resounding yes. Winky D like any other musician organised a musical show and there is no way we can call that a political rally.” Banda said.
Many times Winky D’s releases have been criticised, mainly by ruling party and government functionaries, for “delving into politics”. In January 2023, he released a controversial album, Eureka Eureka which saw the Zanu PF-aligned Economic Empowerment Group demanding that his music be banned from radio stations, claiming that the artiste’s lyrics were dangerous to society.
On the album, Winky D collaborated with hip hop artiste Holy Ten on the song Ibotso which the latter later distanced himself from, saying he regretted being part of the project.
While the “Dancehall President” has been getting the short end of the stick, other counterparts such as Holy Ten, Michael Magz, Kikky Badass and Enzo Ishall appear to have the licence to be political after they, for instance, freely campaigned and pledged full support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the run up to the country’s August 2023 harmonised elections.