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Artistes demand payment from ZBC

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THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has come under fire for failure to pay television and film artistes since 2010.

Silence Charumbira

This has forced the Zimbabwe Arts and Culture Industry Association (Zacia) to pen a letter demanding payments from the organisation.

Zacia president Boniface Chimedza told NewsDay that ZBC’s failure to pay “is a vicious threat to the welfare and careers of local artistes which cannot be tolerated”.

“It is unacceptable to perpetually persecute a person or group of persons through unfair and discriminative business practices which are not justified at law,” said Chimedza.

“The fact that ZBC is facing financial challenges is being used as a shield to the prolonged unfair treatment of artistes by the national broadcaster. That should be halted forthwith.
“As Zacia we demand that ZBC improve their approach in handling the financial affairs of the artistes. As an association, we expect to see justice prevailing in the industry and we will not apologise for correcting an unfair system.

“There is no basis why ZBC should continue to expect the artistes to understand that it has no money when the national broadcaster does not seem to be willing to understand the plight of the artistes. ”

Chimedza said to expect artistes to go for years delivering their products and services to the national broadcaster without being compensated for the same was not only preposterous, but unacceptable and unethical.

“We require the national broadcaster to settle any and
all outstanding payments to artistes by or before September 30. That is our position and we collectively retain that stance and expect concurrence to the same by the national broadcaster, he said.

“Zacia has already sent correspondence in writing to the national broadcaster on that issue although we have not confirmed their receipt and subsequent response to the same.”

Chimedza said most of the affected are full-time artistes and their families have been affected by the loss of income.

“They need to feed their families. They need to send their children to school. They need to support their parents,” he said.
“When they work and do not receive adequate compensation for their work, it has a serious boomerang effect on all their beneficiaries.

“That means they cannot afford basic necessities such as provision of clothes, food and medical care for themselves or their loved ones. They are not in a position to improve their livelihoods and that of their children.

“We cannot applaud, accept or allow such a scenario to persist.”
He said artistes had been denied the means and chance to pay for such services as medical aid with some even failing to service bank loans.

Chimedza called upon all affected artistes to immediately register their grievances with the association so that they could help chase their payments.

Efforts to get a comment from ZBC spokesperson Gladman Bandama were fruitless as his mobile number was not reachable.

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