In a dramatic twist of events, the ruling Zanu PF party has reportedly dumped Chief Shumba Hwenje for contemporary musician Mambo Dhuterere as its new praise singer.

Hwenje (pictured below) came to the spotlight in the run-up to the disputed 2018 elections after he released the song, ‘ED Pfee’ and he also recently released an album titled “Special Branch which carries 10 tracks- ED Chete, More Fire, Huchi, Saka Uchaita Sei, State House, Shumba Ngavapinde, Ndomuvhotera Chete, Chakabatwa Kuti Dzvii, Mai Wellie, and Mpela Mpela.

But, according to impeccable sources within the ruling party, Mambo Dhuterere was now going to be the official praise singer for Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 Harmonized Elections to be held on August 23.

According to The Standard newspaper, Hwenje was informed that Mambo Dhuterere was going to be the official Zanu PF campaign praise singer and is set to release an album ahead of the impending elections.

Hwenje, who was ready to entertain Zanu PF supporters at the party’s official campaign launch in Chipinge last Saturday, was told that the ruling party had, instead, opted for Mambo Dhuterere to grace the occasion.

“Hwenje was ready to entertain party supporters and also praise Mnangagwa. He is a tried and tested musician and it came as a surprise that Mambo Dhuterere was going to take Hwenje’s place after all the preparations,” the source was quoted as saying.

Mambo Dhuterere (above) has two yet-to-be-released songs that praise Mnangagwa and one of them is titled “ZANU PF Kuwinner Mugariro” while another one is a collaboration with musician-cum politician, Sandra Ndebele.

Ndebele is running for a municipal seat in Ward 20, Pelandaba-Tshabalala in Bulawayo under a ZANU PF ticket.

Since Independence in 1980, Zanu PF has used local artists during political campaigns and Pride Mkono, a political analyst said:

“Most of these so-called musicians are opportunists and political activists of the ruling party hiding behind art. It is an indictment that they have been trying to reinvent themselves through politics when most of their careers are all but done. To them, joining politics is being part of the gravy train. They want to eat with the elites who are oppressing and stealing from the masses.”