Jah Prayzah sucked into ZANU
PF Succession squabbles

Musician Jah Prayzah, born Mukudzei
Mukombe, has been sucked into Zanu-PF’s
deadly fights to succeed President Robert
Mugabe with music fans and critics saying his
latest album Mudhara Vachauya was produced
to prop-up embattled Vice President
Emmerson Mnangagwa in his battle to
succeed the 92-year-old leader.
Lyrics from the lanky musician’s latest
offering praise an ultimate father figure –
of the Lion totem – who is expected to
change economic fortunes of the
underprivileged in society.
Zimbabwe’s economy has virtually collapsed
due to the high unemployment rate, power
shortages, massive company closures and a
serious cash crisis that has sparked a wave
of anti-Mugabe protests across the country.
This has resulted in social commentators
linking Jah Prayzah’s song to Mnangagwa,
who is of the Shumba totem and is seen as
heir-apparent to the throne following the
axing of former vice president Joice Mujuru.
The Midlands godfather, who is believed to
have strong military links, is alleged to be
leading a faction known as Team Lacoste
that is angling to succeed Mugabe but has
had spanners thrown into his path to State
House by another Zanu-PF faction headed by
young Turks going by the moniker Generation
40 (G40).
However, Jah Prayzah who ironically is the
brand ambassador of the Zimbabwe National
Army – whose boss General Constantino
Chiwenga is believed to be backing
Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions –
dismissed suggestions that the song was
pregnant with undertones of succession
politics in Zanu-PF.
“There is nothing political about that song.
It is clear that it is a love song in which a
husband is telling his wife that she should
shun other men who ask her out when he is
away by telling them that “mudhara
vachauya,” Jah Prayzah told the Daily News
when contacted for comment.
The Tsviriyo hit-maker said those who are
drawing political links to his song should wait
until he produces a video.
“The video that has political connotations
was not produced by me. Mine is on its way
and it will answer all the questions being
raised. I am not a politician and will never be
one in my life so I don’t sing for them
(politicians). I sing to entertain my fans,”
he insisted.
Loosely translated, the title of Jah Prayzah’s
song means “the old man in coming”,
although the word “mudhara” is street lingo
used to refer to a generally superior and
powerful person.
But in this case, some fans believe that the
title and the lyrics that say “mudhara wacho
ishumba inoruma” (the superior and powerful
man is a lion that bites) is the artist’s way
of telling the nation that Mnangagwa will
soon upstage G40 rivals to replace Mugabe.
The musician’s fans have gone on to
mischievously produce a video in which
Mnangagwa is seen with his wife Auxillia
immaculately dressed and inspecting a
military guard of honour – presidential style.
There has always been a connection between
music and politics, particularly political
expression in song since time immemorial.
But while music influences political
movements, it is not often clear to the
musician how or to what extent general
audiences relate to their songs on the
political level.