By A Correspondent
Chimurenga music guru Thomas Mukanya Mapfumo will miss the burial of his brother Lancelot as he fears for his life.
Lancelot is one of the founding members of the Blacks Unlimited and a brother to Mukanya, who died last month in the US.
In an exclusive interview with the Standard from his United States base on Friday, Mapfumo said he will not make the trip to Zimbabwe for the burial of Lancelot. He said:
Lancelot was my brother, workmate and friend. I and the band have lost someone we worked with throughout our lives. It won’t be possible to fill his gap.
Lancelot will be buried in Zimbabwe, his homeland. We are making arrangements to bring his body from here.
Unfortunately, I won’t make the trip to Zimbabwe because of political reasons, as you know I am not a favourite of the government.
I fear for my life and safety if I come to Zimbabwe.
Mukanya has been living in the United States for many years after fleeing persecution during the Robert Mugabe era. He was a critic of the regime.
Mapfumo is also critical of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.
He says Zimbabwe is not moving forward adding that the current government has failed the people and the gains of liberation have been wiped off. He added:
I am totally against the Mnangagwa regime. People, the young people should take into the streets and remove Mnangagwa.
I hate an oppressor, that’s why I am in exile. If it was to me I would be living large in Zimbabwe with farms and stealing money like they do, but I decided to stand with the people.
He said he stands with the oppressed, a message inherent in his music.
Mapfumo was imprisoned during the Smith regime and after independence criticised the new black government led by Robert Mugabe for corruption.
He was targeted and harassed prompting him to move to the United States in the late 1990s.
After Mugabe’s overthrow in 2017, Mapfumo returned to Zimbabwe in 2018, to a massive show named ‘Homecoming Bira’ in the capital.
He returned to his base after a four-month-long visit, but Mapfumo now claims that he is not safe from political danger.