Chipaz defends venue monopoly claims

HARARE - Music promoter Partson Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotions says he has a running contract with City of Harare-owned venue, City Sports Centre for particular calendar dates.

His response comes after the Daily News featured an article alluding to the fact that he was monopolising the venue.

While a number of music promoters were not at liberty to come out in the open about the issue, Canada-based promoter Godfrey “Mad Minox” Chafudzika criticised Chimbodza for distorting the industry and clandestinely monopolising public venues.

“I have been trying to book the venue — City Sports Centre for the past five years, only to be told the place is fully booked.

“Chipaz should understand that City Sports Centre is for the community not his personal property, why monopolise public facilities at the expense of others? In fact we want to give each other a chance and grow our showbiz industry.

“We cannot tolerate a situation where only one promoter will be entitled to use the venue for more than 10 years while others are struggling?” he said.

Chimbodza confirmed the development that indeed he has a running contract with city fathers that gives him an advantage over others.

“I wrote a proposal to City of Harare to fix the porous City Sports Centre only on condition that they avail the joint to us (Chipaz Promotions) for a certain period. Indeed they agreed.

“City of Harare sat down as a council and deliberated on the proposal on December 17 in 2013. It was not an individual decision,” he said.

However, Chimbodza was not at liberty to reveal the number of years he is entitled to receive this special treatment from the city fathers.

“What we have agreed on and the time frame in our contract is private and confidential,” he said.

Chimbodza believes there is no problem with signing long-term deals with venue owners as it has a business value to both partners.

“There is nothing wrong with signing long-term deals with venue owners. Some of the football pitches in Harare owned by City of Harare have been leased to some individuals for close to 100 years and there is nothing wrong with that. That is business,” he said.

Efforts to obtain a comment from City of Harare were fruitless by the time of going to print.

Promoters have been jostling for City Sports Centre after City of Harare banned events that go after 1700hours in the Harare Gardens.

Harare Gardens was the most affordable and accessible joint in the capital followed by City Sports Centre.

At the time the ban was imposed, Harare Gardens used to charge about $1 200 per night while other joints in and around Harare such as Glamis Arena cost about $7 000, Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza was at $5 000 while City Sports Centre was around $2 500 per night.

It has come to the Daily News’ attention that the new crop of music promoters has negotiated “long-term contracts” with joint owners.

Reports are that it is difficult to book a venue on December 18 and 19 each year in Harare especially joints such as Old Hararians, Belgravia Sports Club, East 24 and Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

Chimbodza said he last got a chance to use HICC on the said dates about five years ago.

“Joints are booked early in January every year, as much as I want to use HICC in December on certain dates it is difficult for me, they always tell me the venues have been fully booked,” he said.

Interestingly, at HICC the dates December 18 and 19 are routinely occupied by Simmad Entertainment run by Simba Madziwa.

“People are just not innovative, there are a lot of venues in Harare and outside but promoters do not want to go there, why?

“We have 365 days in a year but still promoters are yearning for two days.

“As Simmad Entertainment we just do our job, we do not have time to listen to what other people say about us,” said Madziwa.

Comments (1)

all private venues its ok they can do what they want , but not the council owned properties that is CORRUPTION, someone is paying under the table

Harare - 16 May 2015

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