ZBC still owes artistes $600 000 in royalties and although the national broadcaster has agreed on a payment plan with the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura), its members are signing a petition for government to intervene.
This debt has been in existence since 2013 and artistes have been trying, but in vain, to get the money from ZBC. They even at one time called for ZBC to stop playing their songs as a way to make the national broadcaster pay their dues.
This was revealed by Zimura director Polisile Ncube after releasing disbursements of $487 193 in royalties for members on June 1.
“ZBC owes us above $600 000 and they wanted to pay $42 000 towards the debt but we refused because the amount was too little to distribute to our members,” said Ncube.
“We have, however, agreed on a payment plan with ZBC.”
Ncube said ZiFM Stereo and Star FM had paid royalties for 2012 to 2014 and 2016 airplay respectively.
These monies, according to Ncube, are being paid to composers of each work and not necessarily artistes or singers. She said the highest paid composer was given more than $2 500 though she refused to disclose who they were.
“Zimura is not allowed at law to disclose individual figures, just as anyone would not agree to their salary being published. The highest paid in this distribution got above $2 500 and the lowest is zero for those who did not get any airplay at all,” said Ncube.
She said how much one is paid depends on the number of times their works are used and how much is available for distribution in a given year.
“The amount per play is not fixed, but depends on the distributable figure and the number of airplays except where the broadcaster pays per play. Music videos are included for as long as they are logged once they are used.”
Meanwhile, Zimura members are signing a petition which is expected to be delivered to the Ministry of Justice to ask the government to intervene.
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