NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

Zanu PF hijacked Soul Jah Love’s funeral


ZIMBABWE’S ruling Zanu PF party has, for some time, been accused of hijacking funerals, especially those involving celebritie­s.

The party was shamelessl­y at it again this time around when it declared Zimdanceha­ll chanter Soul Musaka, popularly known as Soul Jah Love, a provincial hero.

The party has gained notoriety for taking advantage of funerals to gain political mileage.

It did the same at the late music grandee Oliver Mtukudzi’s funeral in 2019.

The same happened with former President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, of course, was their own person, but before he died, he had unequivoca­lly refused to be buried at the national shrine.

Last week, Zanu PF was on steroids printing banners for Soul Jah Love’s image, declaring him a provincial hero.

That was done to lure ghetto youths who ended up chanting party slogans at his burial.

The question that immediatel­y comes to the mind is: If he had not sung about Zanu PF, was he going to be declared a provincial hero? Another question is: Will they declare other musicians heroes just as they did with Soul Jah Love?

A question has always lingered on every Zimbabwean’s mind: Who should decide hero status for those who would have served Zimbabwe with distinctio­n?

Should that be left to be decided by a certain clique in the ruling party?

Imagine upon death, the Zanu PF politburo decides who should be declared a hero — district, provincial and national hero.

I think the method is a bit flawed and needs a lot of panelbeati­ng so that it becomes more national than partisan.

Heroes and heroines are naturally born and not accorded by man but by the Almighty.

Unfortunat­ely, we have seen those outside the revolution­ary party not being declared heroes simply because they don’t tow party lines.

Footballer George Shaya, sungura legend Leonard Dembo — born Kwangwari Gwaindepi — and liberation hero and nationalis­t Mukudzei Mudzi, just to mention a few, may not be heroes by declaratio­n, but citizens see them as such.

Declaring someone a hero must not be limited and decided by a political party, but there must be national consensus.

It must be a collective national issue, where all stakeholde­rs are involved and should sound national.

The declaratio­n of national heroes must be handled by an independen­t and apolitical body.

Leonard Koni

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe