Musicians, drug dealers in politics of the stomach?

Sandra Ndebele

ANALYSTS have blasted musicians and socialites who recently turned to politics accusing them of being hungry for money. 

Musicians Sandra Ndebele Sibindi and Enzo Ishal contested in the recently held in Zanu PF primary elections following the footsteps of fellow artistes such as gospel singer and producer Elias Musakwa, Bryn Taurai Mteki, Energy Mutodi, Hosiah Chipanga and Joshua Sacco. 

Ndebele won the ticket to represent the ruling party in the upcoming general elections for councillor in ward 20, Pelandaba-Tshabalala in Bulawayo. She managed to shrug off competition from Zanu PF youth league national executive Thabo Thwala.

Ndebele has for long participated in musical galas organised by Zanu PF and her involvement in active party politics became more visible when she was appointed Zanu PF women’s league Bulawayo representative for Young Women in Economic Development.

Dancehall chanter Enzo Ishal, born Kudzanai Mamhare, reportedly contested for a municipal ticket in Sunningdale, Harare and received the least votes, which added only up to seven out of the 1 385 votes that were received.

However, the dancehall star took to Facebook to refute reports that he participated in the elections after the results came out.

“We are in the age of social media lies where names are thrown around for popularity by journalists. I was never part of the primary campaigns in the recent Zanu PF elections. My vote is my choice and it is democratic right if I choose to support Zanu PF. However, we need to stop making cheap shots just to get a few likes. Next time if I choose to participate do not worry I will tell you. 2023 tichachimhanya (we will run it),” he posted.

However, social media users have dismissed Enzo’s defence questioning why he is disassociating his name with the primary elections only after losing yet he was mum when his name trended during the campaign period.

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said Enzo Ishall had tainted his name by participating in the elections.

“I do not understand why the young man chose to taint his name joining Zanu PF and being rejected by them too,” he posted on his social media.

Pride Mkono, a political analyst and activist blasted musicians’ involvement in politics.

“Most of these so-called musicians are opportunists and are political activists of the ruling party hiding behind art. It is an indictment that they have been trying to reinvent themselves on politics when most of their careers are all but done.

To them joining politics is being part of the gravy train. They want to eat with the elites who are oppressing and stealing from the masses,” he said.

In an interview with our sister paper NewsDay, renowned music critic and academic Fred Zindi said Sandra Ndebele’s move was inspired by money. 

“It is a free world, she (Ndebele-Sibindi) has seen others making money out of Zanu PF. Why should she be left behind? There is no money in music, but in politics,” he said.

Of the contestants who participated in the primary elections, it is the candidature and election of a suspected Mbare drug peddler, Boss Dhama, real name Simbarashe Chanachimwe (31) that shocked many.

Dhama is reported to have won in the elections in Mbare, where he resides. 

In February the police announced the arrest of Dhama following a raid at the suspect’s drug base at Block 14 Matapi flats, Mbare Harare.

Police recovered 26 sachets of dagga and one plant of mbanje measuring 1,7 metres.

In just days, Boss Dhama was free after being granted $50 000 bail. Bail conditions are that he has to reside at the  given address and report to police after every two days.

In 2021 Dhama was sentenced to six months in prison alongside music promoters and producers DJ Fantan and Levels for organising an unsanctioned coronavirus super spreader musical show on New Year’s Eve in breach of the government’s Covid-19 regulations.

The three were later freed on $10 000 bail after a High Court judge consented to their bail appeal.

Dhama is a close associate of producers Levels and Fantan and is reported to be the one who funds street bashes popularly known as Pasa Pasa, which have been associated with drug users.

Speaking on a radio interview Seh Calaz confessed that during his come-up days he praised drug dealers in his music because they sponsored the genre through street bashes.

 “During our early music days, the people who uplifted the genre were drug peddlers. Hence we praised drug abuse and peddlers,” he said.

“Drug peddlers are the first people to appreciate us, our first shows were hosted by drug peddlers before we even got proper bookings and radio rotations.

“Drug peddlers are the biggest shareholders of Zimdancehall and they support the artists and music and I won't be apologetic about this.”

Mkono alleged that Zanu PF protects drug lords despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa and government declaring a war on drug abuse and dealers.

“As for the likes of Dhama, it confirms what we have always said, that drug lords do so at the blessing of Zanu PF. They are behind the spread of hard drugs which has ruined the nation,” said Mkono.

This also comes at a time when Mnangagwa’s twin sons- Sean and Collins  are linked to Scarfmore Records, a record label reported to be funding operations at Mbare’s Chillspot Records, Holy Ten’s Samanyanga Sounds, Enzo Ishal and many other artists.

Another Mnangagwa loyalist- Passion Java has lured artists through his Passion Java records to praise Mnangagwa’s rule ahead of the 2023 general elections. 



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