Levels Chillspot Blasts ZIMURA Over Unpaid Royalties

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

POPULAR local music producer, Levels real name Tafadzwa Kadzimwe from Mbare’s Chillspot Records has blasted Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) for allegedly withholding his royalties for almost a decade.

The musicians board was established in 1982 with the aim to protect music composers’ rights against third parties.
It collects artistes’ royalties from business premises and public events where local music is played and later distributes to the musicians.
In a series of social media rants directed at ZIMURA, Levels, who feels short-changed by the association, said he risked having his royalties eroded by inflation before they are given to him.
“Inini chaiye murikuti makabata mari yangu asi kubva 2011 inini pandakatanga kurira paradio station makambozviisawo here mumusoro kuti mari iyoyo inogona kusazotenga hausi hwangova hutsinye chete hwamunawo here?
“You should be helping artists tarisai tiri mulockdown as mari dzingani dzamunadzo dzekuti muakapa varidzi vanobatsirikana, asi imimi chinokupai kubata mari yemunhu kusvika yakusatenga chii,” reads part of the post.
He went on to plead for government’s intervention in addressing his concerns over the operations of ZIMURA.
“To honorable, Machakaire Tino, to honorable Kirsty Coventry  ZIMURA goes to our radio station, local bars, hotels and every place which play local music collects royalties on behalf of everyone those who are registered with them and those not registered but when we ask for our money they say you should register with them and they forget they took the money without the artists’ permission, they have been doing so for the longest time for me it’s from 2011 until now handisati ndadya kana cent, please help.”
However, in response, ZIMURA dismissed the allegations saying Levels had failed to comply with them and fill in required forms so that his royalties are released.
“It has come to ZIMURA’s attention that Levels – Chillspot and the General Public may not be aware of ZIMURA operations and have misconceptions that for one to get their royalties for airplay, they have to be a member of The Zimbabwe Music Rights Association and that is incorrect.
“In our responses to Levels via Instagram we made it clear to him that all he has to do is to notify the organisation, in detail, all his works by filling out the Notification Forms and Split Sheets which define in detail the share splits with the artists he has worked with so that each artist gets what’s due to him.
“The reason why ZIMURA is withholding these royalties is because Levels has not cleared the splits above,” reads part of the statement.