Zimura writes off ZBC debt

HARARE - Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) has written off royalties that the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Zbc) should have paid to musicians between 2011 and 2014.

Zimura Director Polisile Ncube told the Daily News that the writing off the debt was a result of the consultations between the two parties that also involved the information, media and broadcasting services ministry.

“We had an agreement which was befitting that period, stating that they should pay 10 percent of their advertising revenue. Before the 2011-2014 periods they were paying 2.5 percent but due to the hyperinflationary period we changed,” said Ncube.

“When the ZBC audit was completed, we realised together with the ministry that they could not afford to pay those estimates, as they were not making enough money. So we decided to cancel the bad debt, but they will still pay money for the 2009-2010 periods which we won in the High Court.”

Ncube could not give figures on how much they were owed.

“We were working on estimates and we did not get the ZBC figures as well. So I do not know how much they were supposed to pay us,” she said.

The High Court granted Zimura an order to attach 15 ZBC vehicles to pay off the 2009-2010 debt which had accumulated to $707 421, 13.

But the two parties later agreed on a payment plan that would see the national broadcaster liquidate the date through monthly instalments. To date Zbc has only managed to pay just $150 000.

The Zimura boss added that musicians were fully aware of the new developments.

“Before June 1 we sent them messages, informing them. We also issued out press releases and advised them to come through if they had any problems,” she said.

Zimbabwe Musicians Union (Zimu) interim president Edith WeUtonga told the Daily News that her union understood the reasoning behind the debt cancellation.

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