The intolerance levels of divergent political views in the country has reached alarming levels with musicians being the latest victims of gagging and threats on their lives.
Gangling musician Jah Prayzah had his imminent tour of the United Kingdom being threatened by some elements who believe he has strong links with the army.
Jah Prayzah is on record for saying that he wanted to join the military from a tender age and his admiration for soldiers is not a secret.
However, some elements are linking his music to the military and are threatening to block his UK show.
JP is he is affectionately known, has a right to make his personal choices as a free citizen of this country and it is undemocratic for anyone to target him for his beliefs.
Music is a form of communication where one expresses what he feels and its also a form of art where recipients of the music can interpret the message differently.
In that light, it is therefore possible that some sections of listeners might interpret it in a way that he (JP) did not intend to propound.
Ghetto People’s Devotee Winky D has also become a target of people who do not subscribe to his beliefs.
Just recently he was attacked at Solomons Night Club in the mining town of Kwekwe.
Some members of his camp suggested that the attack was led by the infamous machete wielding artisanal miners from Midlands province popularly known as ‘vakomana vemabhemba’.
It is said that he had been warned not to include his song ‘Jecha’ on the playlist.
The attackers deemed the song ‘Jecha’ as undesirable for championing their own political narrative.
They linked Winky D to opposition party MDC Alliance whose leader Nelson Chamisa is widely believe to have coined the term ‘Kuzvidira Jecha’.
The phrase can be loosely translated to ‘spoiling things’.
Rugare bred star Tocky Vibes also released a song in which he articulately implored soldiers not to physically attack defenseless civilians.
As a result, his wife was reported to have been attacked by individuals purporting to be members of the army.
His manager has however made it clear that Tocky Vibes’ wife was affected by teargas and not specifically targeted as the word on the streets has it.
He also revealed that Tocky Vibes was never victimised by members of the army although some sources within Tocky’s camp insist that he was threatened.
The army, has however maintained that they are professionals and there is no insurgency.
This was said by the army spokesperson Overson Mugwisi.
The latest victim is gospel music supremo Baba Machanic Manyeruke’s son Guspy Warrior who applauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for dialogue and he immediately became a victim of cyberbullying with ‘ghetto youths’ alleging that he had ‘sold his soul to the devil’.
He had to issue a public apology explaining that his song titled ‘One Love’ preaches peace , love and unity.
Guspy Warrior’s real name is Emmanuel which means God is with us and many hope divine intervention will protect him from violent and intolerant fans!
Even during the liberation struggle (Second Chimurenga), music played an important role in motivating ‘comrades’.
Names like Thomas Mapfumo and the late Chinx Chingaira easily come to mind.
So in a democracy, musicians must not be gagged.
In any case, multiplicity of voices is the most nutritious ingredient for a delicious democracy and President Mnangagwa has vowed that he has opened the democratic space.
This then means all those forces unleashing terror and violent threats to musicians and artistes are therefore rogue elements who are nothing but enemies of progress.