ZANU PF Ditches Hwenje For Mambo Dhuterere
26 June 2023
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ZANU PF Snubs Praise Singer Chief Shumba Hwenje for Mambo Dhuterere in Election Campaign.

By Dorrorthy Moyo | In a surprising turn of events, Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, has made a notable change in their election campaign strategy. The party, which had previously relied on the popular praise singer Chief Shumba Hwenje and his anthem “ED Pfee” during the 2018 elections, has now decided to replace him with gospel singer Mambo Dhuterere. This decision has caused a stir within political circles and the music industry, raising questions about the motivations behind the switch.

The Unexpected Change

Chief Shumba Hwenje, renowned for his song “ED Pfee,” which had become an anthem at ZANU PF rallies, was fully prepared to entertain and praise President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the upcoming campaign. However, to Hwenje’s surprise, Mambo Dhuterere was chosen as the official campaign praise singer. Reports suggest that Mambo Dhuterere’s upcoming album, with songs specifically praising Mnangagwa, will now be the focus of ZANU PF’s campaign efforts.

Mambo Dhuterere’s Album and Songs

Mambo Dhuterere’s album, titled “Special Branch,” features 10 tracks that are believed to have been tailored to serve as the official ZANU PF campaign album. The songs include “ED Chete,” “More Fire,” “Huchi,” “Saka Uchaita Sei,” “State House,” “Shumba Ngavapinde,” “Ndomuvhotera Chete,” “Chakabatwa Kuti Dzvii,” “Mai Wellie,” and “Mpela Mpela.” These tracks aim to amplify support for the ruling party and its leader ahead of the general elections.

The Impact on Chief Shumba Hwenje

Chief Shumba Hwenje, a tried and tested musician who had established a strong following within ZANU PF, expressed disappointment at being replaced. Having made all the necessary preparations for the campaign, Hwenje was ready to entertain party supporters and praise Mnangagwa. However, the decision to select Mambo Dhuterere left him surprised and sidelined.

Renewed Criticism of Musicians in Politics

The involvement of musicians in politics has often faced criticism, with accusations of opportunism and insincerity. Pride Mkono, a political analyst and activist, strongly criticized musicians who engage in politics for personal gain. Mkono stated that many of these individuals are simply political activists hiding behind their art, attempting to reinvent themselves and join the ranks of the ruling elites. The sentiment suggests that their motivations may be driven by personal interests rather than a genuine desire for change or service to the people.

Sandra Ndebele’s Involvement

Sandra Ndebele, a musician-cum-politician who features in one of Mambo Dhuterere’s songs, has also attracted attention for her move into active party politics. Ndebele, known for her involvement in ZANU PF-organized musical events, is running for a municipal seat in Bulawayo under the party’s ticket. Critics argue that her decision to enter politics is influenced by financial considerations, as many have witnessed others profiting from their association with ZANU PF.

ZANU PF’s decision to replace Chief Shumba Hwenje, known for his previous support and anthem for the party, with gospel singer Mambo Dhuterere has sparked controversy and raised questions about the role of musicians in politics. While Hwenje had prepared to play a significant role in the upcoming campaign, the unexpected change has left him disappointed. The involvement of musicians in politics, especially during election.