Mukubesa Mundia, known by his stage name Petersen Zagaze has joined politics. He is contesting elections to be the next mayor of Lusaka. We wish him well.
We however believe he has taken a wrong turn in life. Compared to most musicians in Zambia, Petersen Zagaze has been a sober voice. He has resisted being used by politicians to use his music for toxic politics. He had retained his independent mind by singing about social ills and issues thereby gaining himself respect across the country. We are aware that, in Zambia, that comes with no money. In Zambia today, you cannot be rich if you are honest. That is how our country has been structured. You cannot earn a decent living by being a good musician. You make money by hiring out your lyrical talents to politicians in the ruling party. It is tough in Zambia. Petersen Zagaze is aware how his counterparts such as Jordan Katembula are minting gold by dancing for politicians. Whether these politicians are thieves or serial killers does not matter. What matters is that the singer’s pockets are filled with money.
We however believe that despite this rotten state of affairs, there is still room for honest artistes. In fact, it is times such as these that call for integrity. When things are okay, even crooks look honesty. But when things are tough, that is when you can tell who is honesty and who is a chameleon.
Today in Zambia, you can only make money if you join politics or you associate yourself with politicians, especially in the ruling party. That is a very sad reality.
There is however need for good people such as Petersen Zagaze to continue the struggle to save Zambia.
It is tough without money, but it is possible with self-respect and integrity. Politics, especially dirty Zambian politics should not be the retirement ‘home’ for every Zambian. You can contribute to nation building from any position in society.
Specifically, for Mundia Mukubesa, we believe he has just given up a good position on which he was doing just fine as far as contributing to Zambia’s welfare is concerned. He should have continued using his music to point out wrongs and give directions.
We understand and sympathize with his frustrations of seeing things getting worse and worse, with no foreseeable possibility of improving.
But for him to take up the role of politicians is simply a mistake. His voice ill from now on be viewed with suspicions. To make matters worse, he choice the most hopeless of all vehicles to use: the People’s Alliance for Change (PAC). What is that? Our estimation is that if he stood as an independent candidate, maybe he could have gained at least 7 per cent of votes. But under PAC, he is likely to receive less than the number of rejected votes. That is just how it is in Zambia. The race for Lusaka mayor is between Miles Sampa and Jason Kabanana. We thought talented artistes like Zagaze can actually see clearly simple things?
Mundia is talking about dismantling corruption in the Lusaka city council and government at large. How can he do it when surrounded by PF councilors whose DNA is corruption? Can they even respect him or decisions will be made by his deputy? Will he be available to receive politicians at the airport when they return from banking their proceeds of crime abroad?
After losing, what next for Zagaze, continue selling PAC or go back to music?