Kunonga song caught up in political storm

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Jazz star Victor Kunonga’s song Mudondo is in the eye of a political storm following revelations that the musician was not consulted for its use as a backtrack in an interview about controversial exhumations of human bodies underway in Mt Darwin, which is regularly broadcast on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation radio stations

The song, which alludes to the bush sounds like an appropriate complement to the subject in the recurrent interview on how people were murdered and thrown into a disused mine shaft.

But the musician says he was surprised to hear is song being played in the background of the interview without his knowledge.

He has now approached Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) to get an explanation to the development.

“I was not consulted when the song was used. I was surprised when someone called me notifying me that the song was being linked to the ongoing exhumations,” said Kunonga.

“I am not a politician and I do not sing for any political party. I do not want my music to be linked to any political projects because I sing for everyone regardless of political affiliations. It is wrong to use anyone’s song in an advertisement or anything that is produced for awareness or campaign for any event without contacting the artist.”

Zimura director Polisile Ncube confirmed that she had talked to Kunonga about the issue but official communication and stages were still to be taken.

“Victor talked about it when we met over the weekend and he said he would be coming to our offices for official communication. I am still waiting for him and I will write to ZBC about the issue as soon as I meet him,” said Ncube.

The exhumations in Mt Darwin are largely viewed as a political gimmick that Zanu PF is using to whip up emotions and the process has become a bone of contention at various levels.

ZBC has been at the forefront of publicising the process and the interview that is regularly broadcast seeks to serve that purpose while Kunonga’s song makes an appropriate soundtrack to the piece.

ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango said the corporation had no obligation to contact every artist when their songs have to be played.

“Do we have to contact every artist when we need to use an extract of their songs? Ask him (Kunonga) why he brought his album to ZBC in the first place. If he has issues with ZBC, he should come to the broadcasting centre and talk to us,” said Simango.