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An unwarranted attack by Viomak

image Viomak

Protest musician Viomak recently alleged a ban on covering her by The Standard, we publish the following for the record. — Editor.

In terms of the mainstream media, I notice The Standard and The Zimbabwe Independent actually top the list of the media houses that have written stories about Viomak and her music.

These are the same papers she has taken to demonizing online because now her stories can’t make it into the papers. I am not sure why my colleagues who used to cover her a lot in the Zimbabwe Independent stopped writing about Viomak.

I should however, admit that for some time I blindly took her seriously. I was so convinced she was a serious protest musician and a much-needed voice against the situation prevailing then.

The problem started when she was not forthcoming on searching questions put to her. At first she claimed that doing so would endanger her life as she was planning to come back home. I understood that and unsuccessfully tried to get her to be less evasive even in cases where such answers would be off the record. I was so convinced this was a professional approach to the whole issue.

I indicated to her how difficult it was to continue writing about her when as a writer I had doubts about some of the things she claimed because in the end it would result in me not being taken seriously.It’s just not professional to write half a dozen articles about a person who evades pointed questions about herself.

For example there is a time when she forwarded a whole lot of letters purportedly between her and the Zimbabwe Embassy in Canada.I remember asking her how she could reveal so much about herself to the embassy but be so unco-operative to journalists she is actually abusing for her selfish ends.I got an unconvincing explanation.

About the same time I pressed her with more questions but she said she was preparing to travel to Zimbabwe.I still remember that subsequently a picture appeared in the Zimbabwe Independent in which she said was taken in Zimbabwe.It looked like a montage, fuelling doubts I had about whether she indeed had come to Zimbabwe. This even worsened my doubts about her. I decided there were more important issues to pursue than this charade.

Some time in 2008, I met artist Novel Zwangendaba who until then I didn’t know was close to Viomak.Zwangendaba told me that Viomak suspected I was a member of the CIO because of my line of questioning. I was outraged and immediately emailed her telling her how disturbed I was because I considered her utterances to be defamatory.

I also told her how disappointed I was after all the effort I had made to bring attention to her work. I was then reassigned from Arts and Entertainment to hard news and features.This must be what she now claims is a ban by The Standard.  It’s almost two years since The Standard carried any story on her. It’s also more than a year since my last communication with her in May 2008 when I confronted her about the CIO claims.From that statement, it would appear like everything happened last week. I don’t know how she was going to reconcile that with the fact that I haven’t been at The Standard for eight months.
When I first raised the issue with her, this was her response:

“Hey, This is very interesting. Hahahahahahahaha. I don’t know Novel Zwangendaba. I also doubt if he really knows me. Maybe he heard from the guys I mentioned …Yeh I remember the Canada issue. The thing is all the journalists who write stories on me never requested my real name.If you had explained that the Canada embassy issue was so sensitive and it requires a real name I was definitely going to understand, but then the name was asked when I was about to come home. That was the worry. So it was just a case of an innocent woman fearing for her life. I’M REALLY SORRY FOR DISTURBING YOUR MIND AND SUSPECTING YOU OF BEING WHAT YOU ARE NOT. Please accept my apologies...I’m sorry.Up to now I receive loads of emails and phone calls from people I don’t know but many I ask if they are not CIO. So that’s the nature of the position I’m in. It’s so confusing. I chose not to ask you cause I didn’t have evidence to pin you down. They were only suspicions...
Thanks for understanding.
God bless.” — Viomak.


It later turned out she was confusing me with someone else, or with other people she has interacted with and in one of the emails she claimed I told her I had a hangover.
This was really funny for me because all my life, I have never had a hangover, except if it means something different for her.

She suddenly became violent and started making all sorts of allegations. I then decided to ignore her. It seemed to be working until a few days ago when I read the statement she issued claiming she was banned by The Standard.

I can’t remember who said this, but someone told me how some people use newspaper cuttings to justify their applications for asylum, and how Viomak was possibly doing the same, especially since she had moved from Canada to the UK.I think she just wants to get glory for a struggle she has never fought.

Vusumuzi Sifile
Harare.
 

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