ED praise song expose Passion Java, Roki rift

However, Roki's silence over happenings at Passion Java Records is raising  eyebrows.

PASSION Java records has finally delivered the long awaited song by Zimbabwean star Roki and Nigerian star D' Banj and Awilo Longomba.

However, Roki's silence over happenings at Passion Java Records is raising  eyebrows.

The artiste has not posted or promoted the new song on his social media handles.

The song released on digital platforms last week, coincided with Zimbabwean elections as Passion Java, the record label front man, moved in to use music and artistes to campaign for President Emmerson  Mnangagwa.

Java is a Zanu PF and Mnangagwa loyalist, who uses music and his widely followed social media pages to campaign for Mnangagwa's Zanu PF.

The song — accompanied by an animation video — sees Awilo Longomba praising Mnangagwa and depicting opposition leader Nelson Chamisa as a crawling toddler who can not match a 'giant' Mnangagwa.

This is not the first song where a foreign artiste endorses Mnangagwa on Roki's song.

Music critics have claimed that Roki is a pawn, used by Passion Java records to advance Java's political mileage and campaign for Zanu PF prior to the  just ended 2023 harmonised elections.

Roki once attracted the wrath of some followers who accused him of campaigning for Mnangagwa after the 'ED number One' chant in his song Patati Patati with Congolese star Koffie Olomide.

Roki's silence was noticeable even when D' Banj landed for the collaboration, unlike when Koffie Olomide came for his collaboration, Roki was seen all over with the Congolese Rhumba legend.

Roki failed to appear at the Robert Mugabe International Airport when D’Banj landed and he was received by record label owner Passion Java, Mike Chimombe and Zodwa Mkandla.

The deadlocked artiste was not part of  D'Banj’s media briefing at the Rainbow Hotel. To make matters worse, the Nigerian was in the country for more than a week and not even a picture with Roki  surfaced.

When D’banj made his State House visit to Mnangagwa, Roki again was not present, and the Nigerian was flanked by Java and Chimombe.

Roki's silence has raised eyebrows and a source close to the camp said relations between Roki and his 'master' Java were no longer cordial as before.

"Things are no longer the same, Roki is not happy. He (didn't) know about the collaboration, he was told that D' Banj and Awilo will be on the track

"One wonders if Roki is generally not happy (with Passion Java records) or he is not happy on how his content is being controlled and also the political connotations in his songs," she said.

When D'Banj visited Zimbabwe, and met Mnangagwa at the State House, he was still under investigation on fraud allegations in his homeland.

In December last year, the musician was arrested after millions of dollars meant to help unemployed youths start businesses reportedly went missing.

In a tweet, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) confirmed the arrest of the musician over alleged fraudulent activities associated with the N-Power Programme, a government scheme set up to address youth unemployment and empowerment.

The N-Power initiative was launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, but many beneficiaries complained about not receiving their grants.

According to reports, more than two million Nigerians aged between 18 and 35 have benefited from the N-Power scheme since it was launched.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies said in a statement in December that “billions of naira” had been diverted. At least $629m was distributed in 2019 to beneficiaries who started small businesses, the authorities said.

D’banj, a self-acclaimed brand ambassador for the scheme, turned himself in, according to police.

The anti-corruption agency said 10 other people as well as D’banj were being investigated.

“The investigation will be all-encompassing and also be extended to other collaborators of the fraud and the banks where the beneficiaries’ accounts are domiciled,” a statement read.

The Humanitarian Affairs ministry, which oversees N-Power, said it had no official engagement with the artiste and that his claims to be an ambassador for the scheme were misleading.

The Oliver Twist hit maker was arrested and detained for three days by the Nigerian anti-corruption agency.

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