Actor, ZBC fight over royalties

HARARE - Controversial actor Spugah Dhibhura has accused acting Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer Allan Chiweshe of unprofessionally handling the payments of royalties to commissioned drama groups.

The actor, whose real name is Clifford Makonese, told the Daily News that he is owed thousands of dollars in royalties by the State broadcaster.

“We have supplied several drama series to ZBC Radio Zimbabwe which include Spuggah Hapana Nezvababa, Vachabongomora Nebongozozo and others but ZBC is being evasive when it comes to payments,” he said.

“I went to ZBC and saw a Mr Muronzi who proved very unhelpful. I then decided to see Chiweshe who claimed that I was a relative of Simon Pashoma.

“He also started questioning me why I had gone to the minister’s office.I think they are punishing us going to the minister’s office.”

Dhibhura added that all he wanted was for ZBC to settle the outstanding royalties.

“I have come to the conclusion that they don’t want to pay me. If I am a friend of Simon Pashoma what does that have to do with the money they owe me?

I just want my money. I don’t expect a senior person like Chiweshe to hold silly grudges because I am a friend of Pashoma. I am not begging, I am asking for my hard-earned money.”

Spugah’s actions have, however, been described as “overly dramatic” by ZBC public relations manager, Gladman Bandama.

“He is one for dramatics and to say that we are not forthcoming is not fair.

“We are in debt and it’s not a secret that we were facing challenges before we were rescued in 2013 by the ministry.

“Since then we have been trying to pay off everyone we owe. The ministry has been helping us with the permanent staff and the rest we are paying off ourselves.

So his case is that of a non-permanent nature. We told all the non-permanent staff that we would be paying them in batches, which is what we are doing.”

Bandama added that Spugah has become a permanent feature at the ZBC offices.

“He is here all the time. He was owed $6 200 as of December 2013 and so far we have paid him about $4 635.

“In actual fact, he is the one who has been paid the most because he is always here with one story or another.

“He is coming to get the money as an individual, not with his group. But also because they continue to work with us, the money keeps on accruing so right now we still owe them $4 000.

“As you know things have not been going on well but as a public broadcaster the idea is to go out there and source content for the entertainment of the public.

“The last payment we made was on June 27, we put the money into their account,” said Bandama.

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