Word reaching us is that Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) has accorded departed Zimdancehall superstar Soul Jah Love with a provincial liberation hero status.
Born Soul Muzavazi Musaka, the Pamamonya Ipapo hitmaker passed on Tuesday at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Harare after a brief illness.
In a statement issued through its Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu, the ruling party said:
“His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation Hero status to the late Cde Soul Muzavazi Musaka who passed away on February 16 at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital. The family can be contacted through our Harare Provincial office. I shall be most grateful if you would make the usual arrangements for his burial and payment of benefits to his family. He is from Harare Province.”
Other popular musicians conferred with the liberation hero status are Simon Chimbetu, Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and Cde Chinx Chingaira.
In recent years, the bestowment of such a status has been subject to great national discourse as, historically, it was limited to those who played in the liberation war only.
The National Heroes’ Act states that:
“Where the President considers that any deceased person who was a citizen of Zimbabwe has deserved well of his country on account of his outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to Zim, he may, designate such person as a national, provincial or district hero of Zim.”
That being the case, critics have accused the ruling party and the praesidium of only conferring the status to those aligned or affiliated with Zanu PF.
Soul Jah Love will be buried on Saturday at Warren Hills at 11 am.
His body will lie in state at his home at 15 Mauya Road in Msasa Park, Harare on Friday.