Artists hail crackdown on vendors

HARARE - Arts representatives have hailed the government crackdown on street vendors saying it is in a way helping in the fight against piracy as this action has chased away pirates off streets.

They have urged recording labels to take advantage of the crackdown on vendors, and set up record bars in the streets to enhance easy availability of CDs.

Of late, the government has been driving vendors away from the bustling streets of major towns and cities, a move that has created demand for CDs on the streets.

Festival director Chido Musasiwa-Gutu applauded government’s efforts on bringing sanity to the streets.

“It’s a necessary evil. The city was no longer what it used to be at all.

“Vendors were benefitting at the expense of people who were paying rentals, therefore causing chaos in the market.

“However, the blitz is not going to stop the CDs black market considering there are no record stores in cities to curb the demand for CDs.

“We need to formalise sales of CDs so that the artistes and record stores will all benefit,” Musasiwa-Gutu said.

The most visible official CD seller in town is Diamond Studios through their mobile store (van).

Playwright Sylvanos Mudzvova concurred with Musasiwa-Gutu on the issue of record stores.

“Removing vendors from the streets will create demand for CDs but unfortunately arts marketing companies are not strategically positioned to cover this gap,” Mudzvova said.

“Removing vendors from the streets without banning the duplication of the CDs will not change anything.

“The CD vendors are very mobile and they will do door to door marketing in townships.

“We need legislation that criminalises the duplication and sale of CDs. In Nigeria no individuals are allowed to import blank CDs which in turn protects both artistes and marketing companies.”

Jive Zimbabwe director Benjamin Nyandoro who also runs Padziva joint had this to say: “Anything unlawful must not be condoned. Excuses on what do we do then, we want to survive can be equated to a theft justified for livelihood.

“Piracy is daylight robbery of artistic hard work. I believe this will go a long way in reducing piracy but, more importantly, it is the attitude of the consumer that matters most.”

Zimbabwe Musicians Union chairperson Edith WeUtonga had this to say: “As long as we don’t have legislative approach to this, piracy will not be minimised and neither will it be finished.”

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