ZIMBABWEANS took to social media to express their condemnation at the move by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s move to shut down Winky D’s performance in Chitungwiza on Saturday evening.
Police officers, some in plain clothes, stormed the stage surrounding Winky D before dragging him offstage in front of stunned revellers moments after he performed his song, Ibotso which talks about corruption and how the country’s elite is abusing public funds. Winky D was sharing the stage with several other musicians including Saintflowmusic and Tocky Vibes.
Unconfirmed reports from social media are pointing fingers at Zanu PF youth leaders who are being accused of orchestrating the shutdown of the show. The move by the police to silence Winky D has attracted mixed reactions from observers with my arguing that their actions would, in the future cause anarchy.
Former Information minister Jonathan Moyo on Twitter wrote,
“Shocking. The @PoliceZimbabwe should be the first to know that this is exactly the sort of provocative policing at a peaceful community recreational event that can easily trigger an Arab Spring Moment. In any event, Winky D is an artist, leave him alone to entertain his fans!”
Another exiled former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi castigated the Zanu PF leadership labelling them ‘dunderheads’.
“Where else on the globe does this sort of thing happen grabbing a mic from an artist live during performance because the police or some politicians do not like the lyrics. This is an own goal for the establishment. Zero sophistication.”
Norton MP Temba Mliswa had this to say,
“@Police Zimbabwe blocking @WinkyDonline show in Chitungwiza is not just disturbing but shameful. Are the authorities now trying to derail his career by this cowardice? An artist whom we should be celebrating we are busy fighting! Minister @KirstyCoventry what is this?”
Local media alleged an empty bottle flew from the crowd towards the artist missing him by a whisker as he left the stage with police detail. One Zuva Urban Tete said,
“They can shut down the show but they cannot shut you up Ibotso! AKA Kuvhunduka chati Kwatara! The song bothers them because ichokwadi. If you cannot sing in public, we will sing in our hearts. Long Live Winky D DiBigMan”
This is not the first time the Zanu PF led leadership has blocked an artist from singing a song. Thomas Mapfumo had his protest music banned on Zimbabwe’s public radio stations during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era.