Zimbabwe: Musician receives death threats

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Zimbabwe:
Musician receives death threats, cancels concert

On 1 May 2006, prominent Zimbabwean musician Hosiah Chipanga was forced to pull out of the Workers Day celebrations organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), following anonymous death threats received on his mobile phone, reports the Media Institute of Southern Africa

Chipanga, whose compositions are mostly social, economic and political commentaries on the hardships being experienced by Zimbabweans, was billed to perform at the ZCTU-organised activities at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare.He told the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe that he started receiving the calls on 29 and 30 April, about two days before the event. “The anonymous callers would ask me if I still valued my life. I then decided against proceeding with the performance for my own personal security,” he said.

A member of the Apostolic Faith, Chipanga, however, said no amount of threats would deter him from composing songs that express the truth about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe.
“I express the messages that I receive from God through music and those who receive my messages should pay heed as I will only be telling the truth through the messages that I receive from God.
“I preach my gospel through music. Human threats will not deter me and I will continue to express myself through music in order to help Zimbabwe,” he said.

Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, confirmed to MISA-Zimbabwe that Chipanga had told him that he could no longer perform at the event in light of the threats he was receiving.
“This is dictatorship. Those who associate with the ruling Zanu PF are viewed as saints, while those of opposing views are viewed as enemies.
“Our position at ZCTU is that these are citizens who express their views through music and who should be allowed to exercise their right to freedom of expression,” said Chibhebhe.

In 2005, ZimOnline reported that Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents had warned Chipanga to refrain from singing anti-President Robert Mugabe songs during a musical gala to honour Zimbabwe’s fallen heroes, held in the Midlands city of Kwekwe on 5 August.

For further information, contact Zoé Titus, Programme Specialist, Media Freedom Monitoring, MISA, Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232 975, fax: +264 61 248 016, e-mail: research@misa.org

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of MISA. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit MISA.


Source:

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) official home page:
www.misa.org

AllAfrica.com / Media Institute of Southern Africa – 2 May 2006:
‘Musician receives death threats’

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