‘Return Home And Liberate Zimbabwe’: Thomas Mapfumo Rallies Exiled Zimbabweans

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By Anna Chibamu

OUTSPOKEN Chimurenga music guru Thomas ‘Mukanya’ Mapfumo says he misses Zimbabwe dearly and is considering visiting his home country after his upcoming musical tour in neighbouring South Africa slated for November.

In an interview with Friday, Mukanya, as he is popularly known, went into self-imposed exile in the United States (US) in the early 2000s.

He only returned to Zimbabwe in 2018 following the removal of former strongman Robert Mugabe from office in a military-assisted coup. The now late Mugabe was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.

However, Mapfumo told Friday; “home is always best” and it was unpleasant to live in a foreign country.

However, the Chimurenga icon, known for being vocal in strongly condemning corruption and human rights violations since the colonial era, could not hide his sorrowful feelings at how the majority of Zimbabweans are suffering as the country’s economy fails to recover from years of mismanagement and corruption.

He said his wish was for every Zimbabwean living in the Diaspora to return home and “liberate the country from dictatorship”.

More than three million Zimbabweans are estimated to be living and working in other countries with the majority based in South Africa.

“Everyone loves to be home. I also want to come back home. It is always good to be in your home country. I am planning to come home after my tour of Johannesburg, South Africa this November but plans are still in the pipeline,” Mapfumo, who turned 76 last July, said.

Mapfumo is scheduled to perform at the Newtown Music Factory on November 6 before proceeding to Pretoria’s Pavilion the following day for another show.

“If you want independence, you have to be home. We can only liberate ourselves if we are united because it is not easy to remove this government of today.

“No freedom comes on a silver platter. Let us all sacrifice to die. Once the country is free from these greedy people, we will all come back home,” he said.

Mapfumo also urged youths to “open up their eyes wide” and play their part in the fight for the rule of law and democracy in Zimbabwe.

“Our youths should open up their eyes wide to see. Most countries are now being led by young leaders. I urge the regime not to underestimate the power invested in Povo (majority). These people are the government and their wishes should be fulfilled by the government.”

Mapfumo also questioned why Zanu PF was using state institutions to continue dismantling the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa instead of embracing the main opposition outfit.

“Do as what the citizens are crying for. You do not destroy opposition parties. Parliament (and local council) recalls have caused disunity among leaders of parties.

“There should be a round table to discuss issues between Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance party leaders. Fights and looting of state resources will not take you anywhere,” the legendary musician warned Mnangagwa’s administration.