ZIMURA up in arms with ZBC over unpaid royalties

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

THE Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) has cried foul over government owned, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) which owes musicians royalties worth over $700 000 accrued since 2012.

ZIMURA executive director, Polisile Ncube Chimhini told the parliamentary committee led by Binga North legislator, Prince Dubeko Sibanda Monday that all efforts to recover royalties from the national broadcaster have come to naught.

Chimhini said the state broadcaster owed a number of musicians a total $746 439, 09 dating back to 2012.

ZIMURA, through its lawyer, Witness Zhangazha said it was difficult to enforce any court decision against a government owned entity like ZBC.

In 2012, with the court judgement, the musicians’ board moved to attach ZBC’s broadcasting van but this was in vain as it is the same vehicle used to broadcast parliament sessions.

It has become difficult for Zimbabwean musicians to earn a living through their songs only as they encounter piracy which has heightened with the advent of social media.

“Our target is that musicians live on their music just like other people who go to work live off their jobs but in Zimbabwe this is difficult to implement.

“There are only a few (musicians) who can profess that they are living on their art alone,” Chimhini told in a recent interview.

ZIMURA was established in 1982 to protect music composers’ rights against interference by third parties.