THE Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) last week refuted claims by Black Umfolosi that it had not received royalties for its hit song — Unity — which has featured on ZBC TV and radio from way back in 1987.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Zimura executive director Polisile Ncube refuted the claims, saying only one member of Black Umfolosi had not been given the royalties.
“I would love to know who in particular is complaining because not all Black Umfolosi members have a claim to the song Unity. Royalties are paid only to the composer or composers of a song and not to all band members. Please, note that neither Tomeki (Dube) nor Sotsha Moyo composed the song unity. Unity was composed by a Dennis Nkomo,” she said.
She said Nkomo was the only person with a claim to Unity, but admitted that their payments often ran behind schedule due to a plethora of reasons.
Ncube said they only paid for music listed on the log sheet of music played and presented by various radio presenters and submitted to the association by the broadcaster.
“We have proof of the payment in the office. Please, note also that Zimura only pays royalties for works that are broadcast and logged by the broadcasters. Therefore, if some work is used on programmes that are not logged, there is no way Zimura can pay as we will not have evidence of the usage,” she said.
This was said after the group’s leader, Tomeki Dube, claimed they were engaged in a bitter fight with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to access royalties for the song.
“So far, ZBC has done nothing about the issue. Since 1987, we have presented our issue of not getting royalties and we are given a cold shoulder. ZBC says our song is a jingle and we cannot get any royalties from it,” he said.
ZBC public relations manager Tsitsi Kanonge, however, referred questions to Zimura, which receives royalty remittances from the broadcaster for music aired on TV and radio.
“For all questions related to artistes’ royalties, the appropriate entity to contact is Zimura. Because we are different entities altogether, and as ZBC, we do not have the liberty nor capacity to comment on Zimura’s operations,” she said.
Unity is regularly played on radio and television since its release 32 years ago to urge unity among Zimbabweans.