Let us hold the govt to account in 2016: Mapfumo

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Season greetings to my fellow Zimbabweans,

As we begin 2016, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Lord and our ancestors for taking us this far.

THOMAS MAPFUMO

The year 2015 was not an easy year for most of us and we are very grateful for the gift of life that is continuously bestowed upon us.

Thomas-Mapfumo-1

I, however, wish to extend my deepest condolences to those whom we lost in 2015, may their souls rest in peace.

On behalf of my family, the Blacks Unlimited and the Chimurenga music movement, I wish to thank our fans, the media, promoters, record companies and all those who have supported us during the year.

Chimurenga music is a movement that seeks to unite the people of Zimbabwe and the world at large to live in peace, fighting oppression, subjugation  and undemocratic practices through music.

We started this music during the liberation struggle as we fought white domination and oppression, and have continued over the years fighting for the people through our music.

I released my 50th album, Danger Zone, in February this year, an album articulating the struggles of the poor people, calling for unity and an end to war that is threatening to end global existence.

It is the realisation that music is a powerful tool in society and us, as musicians, will continue using the tools at our disposal to spread the message of love and unity in the societies we live in.

The album Danger Zone was, however, hit by piracy, and as a result we did not get anything from the sales of that album. As musicians, we continue to bear the burden of production costs while others are just reaping where they did not sow.

We will continue to call on the responsible authorities to help us in the fight against piracy so that we also realise our worth. In other countries there are stiff laws against piracy and as a nation, we should also embrace such laws to make sure that we protect our musicians so that they can continue entertaining the nation. Let’s  declare 2016 a year for war against piracy. The war needs the support of government and law enforcement agents.

The year 2015 was quite busy for us as we had the honour of being invited to perform at various important international platforms, an indication that Chimurenga music is not just a Zimbabwean brand, but an international brand that has been endorsed globally.

We are grateful to the government of Mozambique for inviting me and my group to perform at their Defence Forces Day, a befitting honour in my musical career. This also goes to the provincial government of Limpopo, South Africa for inviting us to participate at the Mapungubwe Arts Festival where I shared the stage with old friends like Hugh Masekela and other youngsters like Joe Thomas.

Wherever we performed in 2015, we drew huge crowds, a testimony that our music is the music for the people and, therefore, we will continue producing music for the people. It is, however, saddening that once again, I have let the people of Zimbabwe down after making countless promises to perform in my country of birth.

Our failure to perform in Zimbabwe was due to some technicalities beyond our control and we are working flat out to make the Zimbabwe welcome back shows a reality.

We are working with some local promoters who are eager to have us perform in Zimbabwe this year and we will be announcing the dates once everything has been finalised.

I am touched by the plight of  the working class  people of Zimbabwe who are working hard every day but not getting their salaries.
In 2015 we also saw our economy shedding jobs, houses  destroyed, levels of inequality continuing to rise and more people getting afflicted by the deepening poverty.

The government should prioritise the plight of the workers and the poor people of Zimbabwe who are bearing the brunt due to misgovernance and bad policies.

The people voted in government to improve their lives, not to be suppressed, nor to have their houses destroyed. This is not what we fought for. So, I strongly urge politicians and those in the corridors of power to stop this politicking and prioritise the wishes of the people.

Zimbabweans are suffering and looking up to government for answers and solutions, therefore leaders must change their ways. Leadership is about the people and not selfish interests. Zimbabwe is not anybody’s personal property, inyika yevanhu [the country belongs to the people].

As we enter 2016, Zimbabweans should brace for more tough times ahead, but the challenge remains with us to get this government to account or we remain quiet tichingokuvarira mukati [while we suffer].

We should also not forget to offer practical solidarity to vulnerable families, who have lost their livelihoods due to job losses.
We should share with the poor and remember that there are millions of unemployed people in this country and they will be struggling to make ends meet during this period.

The principles of unity and solidarity should continue to guide us, as we enjoy this festive holiday season.

However, I wish you a prosperous 2016 and continue to support our music.

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