Zimura fails to pay international artistes

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) said they owe international as well as regional artistes royalties.

William Nanaire, the society’s financial officer, said they collect cash for all artistes but have their priorities set on local artistes.

“We owe international artistes and we cannot pay them,” Nanaire said. “Instead, we prioritise the payment of our local artistes. I don’t think it would be fair to take money out without seeing that our local artistes have been paid.

“In our accounts, it shows that we are in debt and we will pay up when we get the money.

As royalties collecting associations worldwide, we will be accountable to all other signatories and we are mandated to pay up. What happens is that we use the logs provided by stations, in this case ZBC, and divide the money among our local artistes.

This money includes those from regional as well as international artistes.

“We collect for all artistes including regional and international artistes. Even the associations within the Southern African countries are failing to pay us as well, so it is not only a Zimura problem but it is widespread.”

Zimura paid out royalties to musicians at the beginning of June and have finished the process.

“Only a few got above $4 000 and these were the highest paid,” Nanaire said.

“The challenge we are encountering is that some feel that they are receiving too little money, but these are only a dozen. They feel that they should be getting more but in these economic hardships, it is difficult for them to get as much as they would want. Then the majority are grateful because they know that times are hard and some would not have expected to get anything.”

He said they would be willing to pay artistes more than once a year but cannot do so because of the financial crisis the country is facing.

“As much as we want to give artistes money more than once, we cannot. It is difficult in these financial times as there is no money.

The radio stations are trying, they are really putting in effort to clear their debts,” he said.

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