Sulu maintenance fees slashed

HARARE - Dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu’s maintenance fees for his two minor children were yesterday slashed from $800 to $400 by a Harare Civil Court.

Chimbetu was represented by Arshiel Mugiya and sought the downward variation after citing that he could no longer manage to pay the money because the music industry was also being affected by prevailing economic hardships.

Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube granted the application and ruled that “indeed Chimbetu was not spared by the harsh economic conditions”.

Ncube said it was not in dispute that the number of shows and people that attended music concerts that funded Chimbetu’s livelihood had dropped.

He also considered that Chimbetu’s wife was no longer employed and the burden of family responsibilities became solely his.

The development comes four months after Chimbetu was fined $100 for failure to pay maintenance after he had delayed sending the money to his ex-wife Marygold Mutemasango.

In his application, Chimbetu said the $800 was unsustainable considering that the company he works for Orchestra Dendera Kings (Pvt) was only paying him $750.

Sulu Chimbetu

“...that company is the one that owns the musical band known as Orchestra Dendera Kings together with all the musical instruments and motor vehicles that the band uses. The reason I have pointed out my actual earnings is because Mutemasango seems to have an understanding that I am swimming in a pool of gold,” Chimbetu said.

“The general economic crisis which is affecting the country has had direct bearing on the number of individuals who attend our shows as well as the number of shows held every week.”

Chimbetu added that the number of people who attended their music concerts had dropped from between 700 and 1 000 to between 150 and 250 individuals.

He bemoaned the piracy scourge saying it was a contributor to the decrease in income realised by musicians from music sales.

“Producing a new album means costly payments of studio time, marketing as well as launching the album yet not even a cent is earned from that effort and this has deprived me of any extra income,” Chimbetu added.