A BULAWAYO-BASED a cappella group, Imbube, has released a controversial song describing President Robert Mugabe as “an unrepentant liar” and blaming him for the current socio-economic crisis in the country.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Although the song — which has gone viral on WhatsApp platforms and is regularly played on commuter omnibuses in Bulawayo — does not mention Mugabe by name, it cites key events in his 35-year tenure where the Zanu PF leader has allegedly used lies to maintain his stranglehold on power.
“Ngithi warobha uNkomo wamyekisa iZapu wathi sebebambene elamanga, lomuntu uvele ulamanga.
“Lobaba ngempela ulamanga. Ngithi warobha uNkomo wamfaka kuZanu wathi sebebambene elamanga, lomuntu vele ulamanga, lobaba ngempela vele ulamanga (I say this man robbed [late Vice-President Joshua] Nkomo to leave Zapu after lying to him that they were now united. I say this man robbed Nkomo into joining Zanu PF after lying to him that they were united. This man is a liar, he is a liar),” the song goes.
Zapu joined hands with Zanu PF on December 22 1987 after Nkomo signed the Unity Accord with Mugabe to end Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces.
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace claimed that over 20 000 civilians were killed during the disturbances which Mugabe later described as a “moment of madness”.
Some of the lyrics on the song make reference to the treason charges once levelled against opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
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“Ngithi wathatha uTsvangirai wammisa enkantolo ethi uvukela umbuso elamanga, lomuntu vele ulamanga, lobaba ngempela ulamanga. Ngithi wathatha uArthur (Mutambara) wamvalela ejele ethi uvukela umbuso elamanga, lomuntu vele ulamanga.
“Lobaba ngempela ulamanga (I say this man arrested Tsvangirai and locked him up in prison on treason charges, lying.
This man is just a liar and he is really a liar. I say this he arrested Arthur and locked him up lying that he wanted to unseat him. This man is just a liar, and he is a real liar),” the song continues.
Tsvangirai was in 2002 charged with treason based on a grainy four-and-a-half hour video recorded by hidden cameras purportedly in a meeting between the MDC-Taleader and a Canada-based political consultant Ari Ben Menashe, plotting Mugabe’s assassination.
He was acquitted of the charge.
The song also makes reference to the land reform programme that saw white commercial farmers being kicked off their farms by the government in 2000.
Mugabe defended the land seizures as necessary to correct colonial era land imbalances that condemned blacks to poor soils, leaving whites with huge fertile lands.
“Ngithi waxosha abamhlophe ethi wenzela abamnyama elamanga, lomuntu vele ulamanga. lobaba ngempela ulamanga, vele ulamanga. (I say he chased away whites claiming that he wanted to empower blacks lying. This man was lying. He is a real liar),” the song goes.
The song appeals to former South African President Thabo Mbeki and ex-Nigerian leader Nigerian Olusegun Obasanjo to look at the Zimbabwean issue, an indicator it could have been recorded during their respective tenures.
Mbeki and Obasanjo were part of a Commonwealth Troika set up to look at the Zimbabwean issue. Mugabe later dragged Zimbabwe out of the body after its recommendations which were unfavourable to the long-time ruler.