Hosiah Chipanga’s former band members have described their ex-leader as a heartless man following his refusal to assist or be involved at the funeral of his late former drummer Givemore Pfawa, who died recently after a long illness.
The ex-band members allege Chipanga dumped them when he relocated to Mutare from Chitungwiza last year yet the musician is on record saying the band refused to go with him.
A source close to the late Pfawa said when Chipanga and the band parted ways the late drummer’s health had started deteriorating.
It is alleged that when Pfawa died on March 13 Chipanga would not entertain any phone calls concerning the death.
“When we tried calling Hosiah to tell him that his long-serving drummer had died he was hostile and told us he had nothing to do with him and he could not assist us in any way,” said the source.
Other band members did not know Pfawa’s relatives and only managed to find his uncle, only identified as Chirara, who immediately came to Harare, but had no funds to facilitate a decent funeral and burial.
The band members say they approached Alick Macheso who immediately saved the day by giving them financial assistance for the burial.
William Tsandukwa, Macheso’s manager, met them at Chitungwiza Hospital on March 17 and paid all the funeral parlour expenses, bought the coffin and covered transport expenses to carry Pfawa’s body to the Chitungwiza Unit L cemetery where he was finally laid to rest.
“We have nothing to do with the dispute between Hosiah and his former band members. We only offered our help because they asked for it and it was only right for us to assist in giving a fellow musician a decent burial,” said Tsandukwa.
Tsandukwa said Macheso did not know Pfawa before his death, but had sympathised with Chirara who was his only relative present and had no funds as he had recently assisted in financing yet another family funeral.
He said among the people that approached them for assistance, he had recognised one of the late Cephas Mashakada’s band members.
Asked to comment on the issue Chirara said he had no comments for newspapers and suggested this reporter call Chipanga for answers.
Chipanga confirmed he refused to be involved in Pfawa’s funeral because he had cut ties with the band.
“Those boys are trying to tarnish my image yet when I decided to relocate to Mutare I invited them to come with me and they refused, but now they wanted my help because one of them had died. That is why I refused,” said Chipanga.
“I am a reasonable person and I could have helped them if only they had listened to me as their leader and not tried to be hard-headed like they did.”
Chipanga said he had since replaced the five band members and was continuing with his music career in Mutare adding he was at a rehearsal when he had not answered earlier calls from NewsDay.
Chipanga’s former lead guitarist Treatmore Mavara said Chipanga had failed to act morally.
“Chipanga dumped five of us when he suddenly relocated to Mutare without telling us and when Givemore (Pfawa) died we phoned him hoping that despite the way he had wronged us he would at least assist,” said Mavara.
“His conscience should have led him to help in giving his drummer of many years a decent burial, but instead he turned a deaf ear.”
Mavara said at first Chipanga would answer their calls and give them rude responses until he no longer answered any of their calls.
He said life had been difficult for all of them since getting dumped, but they had recently got back on their feet and had started rehearsals as a new band because they were all still passionate about music.