NACZ doesn't register artistes

HARARE - Many artistes, arts groups and bands have visited the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) head office and those scattered countrywide to enquire about how to register with the Council.

We have heard many artistes, bands and individuals who claim to be registered with NACZ.

Let me clarify that NACZ does not register artistes, music bands or arts groups.

The NACZ Act of 1985 allows the Council to register arts associations (membership-driven entities and arts promoters (business enterprises).

According to the Statutory Instrument 87 of 2006 Paragraph (4) “No arts organisation shall operate in terms of these regulations without being registered.”

Only arts organisations are required to register and not individual artists.

Any arts organisation that wishes to operate legally should register with NACZ.

The same act also makes it mandatory for anyone who wishes to engage in the business of promotion secure registration with the NACZ first.

These regulations are meant to protect the public, the reputation of the sector as well as the artists themselves from being shortchanged.

But then what does an association or promoter benefit from registering with NACZ?

The first reason is really that good citizenship is shown by following the laws of one’s country. When an association or promoter registers, they will be complying with the laws of Zimbabwe.

However, there are other benefits that accrue to the registering organisation or promoter one of which is that it provides a seal of approval.

This is critical in any professional activity and it explains why organisations have invested in getting their products acquire Iso certification. Registering with NACZ makes the business of arts organisations legal and reliable.

A registered organisation will also be able to then facilitate payment of taxes by the members in cases where they have to.

The arts sector has been clamouring for increased funding and recognition. This will only be possible when players in the sector also contribute taxes like other sectors.

Government provides the largest business opportunities in any country.

When an arts organisation registers with NACZ it will be eligible to access these opportunities in addition to getting facilitation services when dealing with government agencies and departments.

According to the NACZ Act 1985, NACZ is not obliged to provide a service to an organisation not registered according to this Act.

Since 2003, registering with NACZ has enabled organisations to benefit from duty-free importation of broadcasting and recording equipment, musical instruments as well as public address systems.

Cultural exchange programmes between countries only involve registered organisations or their members.

It is clear from the above that registering with NACZ has many advantages and remaining unregistered exposes an organisation to many threats.

How can an organisation register with NACZ? As indicated above, there are two types of registration with NACZ, as a promoter and as an association.

The applicant wishing to become a promoter in terms of the Act must be a registered company according to the Companies Act 1990 and should register with NACZ.

The applicant shall:

- Fill a prescribed form obtainable from National Arts Council of Zimbabwe
- Obtain a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) clearance certificate
- Submit certified copy of the company certificate and CR 14.

Have two written reference letters from bona fide businesses or individual of repute in the community the company is operating.

- Pay the applicable application fee when lodging the form.

The application will then be lodged with NACZ. Under normal circumstances, the applicants should expect a response within 10 working days from the date of submission.

Applications submitted at provincial offices may take more time depending on the efficiency of the postal system that brings the applications to NACZ Head Office in Harare.

- Promoters’ certificates are only valid up to 31st December of each year and are supposed to be renewed. Renewal within the three months would only require Zimra clearance certificate as well as application fee.

Should renewal be done beyond the three months after the expiry of the licence, the decision to demand re-application rests with the NACZ director depending on the circumstances that prevented the applicant to renew within the three months period.

- In the case of arts associations, once registered, the organisation remains registered unless it is de-registered according to the Act. The process of registration includes providing the following:

- A copy of a constitution of their association or organisation or certified copy of certificate of incorporation. Trustees should lodge their deed of trust when registering.

- Minutes of the meeting that constituted the association or organisation.

- List of executive committee members.

- List of members (optional)

- Any other relevant documents or information which the NACZ director of may from time to time deem necessary.

- Application fee accompanied by a prescribed form obtainable from NACZ.

Associations may be registered as district, provincial, or national depending on the scope of operations as well as spread of membership. Whatever the type, the requirements, process and fee are the same.

corporates, venue owners and the media can easily verify the authenticity of a promoter or associationby demanding a valid National Arts Council of Zimbabwe certificate. λThe author is the NACZ director.

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