Sizzla’s publicist Olimatta Taal has pushed aside reports published in an overseas newspaper which claims that the artiste has fled from Jamaica to live in Zimbabwe because of gun and murder related charges.
The article, ‘Mugabe offers Jamaican artiste farm for ZANU-PF public relations’, which was published in The Zimdiaspora on Monday, claimed that Sizzla “is on the run from Jamaican authorities for gun related and robbery cases in Kingston and is preparing to set up base in Zimbabwe after he was offered a farm. Indications are that he will not be returning to his native Jamaica where he is under investigation for several violent crimes which include armed robbery and murder.”
It continued, “Zanu PF is allocating a farm to Sizzla so that the Jamaican star would do international public relations for the former ruling party whose fortunes are fast waning following its drubbing at the March 2008 harmonised elections by the Movement for Democratic Change.”
There were also claims that Sizzla ‘was not paid for the performances he has done in Zimbabwe and allocation of a farm to him is part of Zanu PF’s way of settling what it owes the reggae star’.
However, Taal has dismissed the claims and labelled the article as irresponsible journalism.
“The article is not factual and it is misrepresenting Sizzla. Sizzla is not under investigation for any of that. It is apparent that the website is a racist journalist group which is trying to discredit Sizzla and misinform the public,” she told THE STAR. “I don’t know The Zimdiaspora but they need to be careful ’cause they can be sued for defamation of character. It is not responsible journalism.”
Taal said Sizzla has been on tour in Africa since late February. In addition to Zimbabwe, he has performed in other countries on the continent, including South Africa and Ghana. She said he might return to Jamaica in May before a performance in Trinidad.
Taal did admit that Sizzla was given land for his two performances in Zimbabwe for the country’s 30th independence celebration. But the land, she said, was in no way related to politics.
“The allocation of the farm land does not have any relation to any political party. Instead of giving him cash (for the performances) they gave him land. Although they want to discredit and criminalise him, it is very honourable that he would take land instead of cash,” she said, noting that the land received is for the Rastafarian community.
Meanwhile, she said Sizzla has heard about the article but is not moved by it.
“He has heard about it and he laughed when he heard. He doesn’t take it to heart. He knows that this is what they do. We don’t plan to sue them, we just laugh at them,” she told THE STAR.
“He (Sizzla) is in Zimbabwe because he loves Africa. He isn’t pro-Mugabe or anti-Mugabe but he respects Mugabe as a leader.”