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Govt says Thomas Mapfumo free to come to Zim for bothers’ burial

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has advised Chimurenga music legend Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo to freely come to Zimbabwe to bury his brother Lancelot adding that “the security of his person is assured”.

This comes after Mapfumo, a fierce critic of Zanu-PF and its leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, indicated last weekend that he would not be able to come to Zimbabwe with the remains of his brother Lancelot due to fears for his life.

Lancelot, a percussionist, one of the first members to join the Blacks Unlimited Band when Mapfumo first formed it, died in the United States two weeks ago after a long illness.

But government spokesperson Nick Mangwana dismissed Mapfumo’s sentiments assuring him security if he lands in Zimbabwe.

“We wish to express our sincere condolences to Mr Thomas Mapfumo over the sad loss of his younger brother, Lancelot (MHSRIP). We wish to advise Mr Mapfumo that he has nothing to fear in Zimbabwe. The security of his person is as assured as the rest of us,” Mangwana said.

The percussionist and brother of Thomas Mapfumo, Lancelot succumbed to cancer on Sunday. He was 68.
The percussionist and brother of Thomas Mapfumo, Lancelot succumbed to cancer on Sunday. He was 68.

Mapfumo has been living in exile in the United States for over two decades after rebuking late former President Robert Mugabe and his regime. He kept on criticising the current President Emmerson Mnangagwa who assumed power through a military coup in November 2017.

The Chimurenga musician told the Standard Style last weekend that he would not come to his home country as he fears for his life.

“Lancelot was my brother, workmate and friend. I and the band have lost someone we worked with throughout our lives. It won’t be possible to fill his gap,” Mapfumo said.

“Lancelot will be buried in Zimbabwe, his homeland. We are making arrangements to bring his body from here.

“Unfortunately, I won’t make the trip to Zimbabwe because of political reasons, as you know I am not a favourite of the government.

“I fear for my life and safety if I come to Zimbabwe.”

Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited (His brother Lancelot is to Mapfumo's left)
Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited (His brother Lancelot is to Mapfumo’s left)

He added: “The country is not moving forward. It’s evident that the current government has failed the people and the gains of liberation have been wiped off,” he said.

“I am totally against the Mnangagwa regime. People, the young people should take to the streets and remove Mnangagwa.

“I hate an oppressor, that’s why I am in exile. If it was me I would be living large in Zimbabwe with farms and stealing money like they do, but I decided to stand with the people.

“I stand with the oppressed. I am for the freedoms of the people and freeing the black man.”

The date for the burial of Lancelot has not yet been announced.

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