MASVINGO – The death of Afro-pop star Garikai “Garry” Mapanzure has sparked outrage and grief among his fans and family, who blame the poor state of Zimbabwe’s healthcare system for his demise.
Mapanzure, 25, was involved in a road traffic accident on Thursday and died after waiting for 12 hours without receiving proper medical attention at the Masvingo Provincial Hospital, his family claimed.
His sister, who spoke at his funeral on Sunday (video above), said that her brother could have survived if he had access to a CT scanner or an ambulance that could have taken him to a better-equipped facility.
“The health system in Zimbabwe failed Garry. I want to say it because maybe they may hear us…maybe some other child, another family won’t have to go through the pain we are going through…Garry held on for 12 hours and it’s not fair,” she said, breaking down in tears.
She urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to fix the healthcare system and save lives. “Please don’t let this happen again,” she pleaded.
According to Hillary Makaya, a Zimbabwean model and friend of Mapanzure, a specialist ambulance from Harare was called but the private company demanded US$2,900 upfront, which was unaffordable for the family.
Critics accuse political elites of misappropriating funds that should be allocated to the health sector. They argue that the politicians show little concern for the healthcare system as they can afford to seek medical treatment abroad.
Mapanzure leaves behind a year-old son, Thomas Junior, his wife, Vimbai and a rich music catalogue. He rose to fame in 2017 after the release of his hit ‘Wapunza’ which has over four million views on YouTube.
Hundreds of people attended his funeral in Masvingo, wearing black and singing his songs in tribute to his life and legacy.