Muchaneta Chimuka — The nasty conflict between Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) and ‘ex-board member’ Phillip Chipfumbu, on allegation of misappropriation of the association’s funds has finally ended after the High Court threw away Chipfumbu’s application due to lack of merit.
Chipfumbu the former director for ZIMURA board was the ring leader of the fracas but luck ran out when he approached the High Court to ask for a court order to suspend the current board alleging that it was not an authentic board which was elected through illegal means but however, the court dismissed his application with costs.
With this, ZIMURA Executive members are set to hold a press conference today to update the media on the current developments.
This publication is in possession of the court order that was stamped on October 26, 2023.
Chipfumbu is said to have failed to substantiate his allegations against ZIMURA resulting in the court taking such a decision.
In his application he cited, Albert Nyathi the board chairperson, the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association, and the Registrar of Companies as respondents. “This year in April, Chipfumbu called for a press conference in Harare where he alleged that the current ZIMURA Board was illegally elected and said that they did not comply with the board’s constitution.
He mentioned that the board was abusing ZIMURA funds without any evidence to prove that. More so, Chipfumbu was no longer our board member but he continued to carry ZIMURA duties to the extent of calling for pressers which we deem illegal,” said Polisile Ncube-Chimhini the organisation’s executive director. She said, this was a relief at last because each and every time, Chipfumbu would find his freedom to move around speaking badly about the association which resulted in the loss of trust among its members.
ZIMURA director of Information and publicity, Alexio Gwenzi was once quoted by this publication saying: “It is the burden of the accuser to prove beyond reasonable doubt that funds are being abused.”
“Our financial statements are religiously audited every year and the statements have also been annually sent to CISAC, the international governing body for CMOs as well as the Companies and Intellectual Property of Zimbabwe among other relevant stakeholders.”
He said the audited financial statements were available on the ZIMURA website.
“It should also be noted that ZIMURA management is allowed to utilise a maximum of 30 percent of the total revenue collected for purposes of running the organisation,” he said.
Those activities include marketing, public relations, and publicity activities, administration, staff salaries, and workshops.
Anyone is free to walk into our offices and we will be happy to explain anything they might have questions on. They can also use our social media platforms to contact us. No one has been duped and again these accusers are ill-informed.”
Gwenzi said if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the officials, the law should take its course hence this time around justice has finally prevailed.
“In the same vein, if anyone intentionally defames another without tangible evidence that can be produced in the courts of law, they will be sued, and the law will take its course,” he said.
“We will not be side-tracked with side shows or any form of a circus, our mandate is to make sure that any copyright holder whose work is being used is paid their dues,” added Gwenzi.
ZIMURA’s mandate is to protect artistic works that was being culturally used for free for many years by most business firms such as hotels, bars, lodges, buses and other individuals for profit making, through the collection of royalties that would benefit music creators, composers, publishers and families of the late music content creators among others.
Meanwhile, Chipfumbu did not accept defeat.
“We won’t expose our way forward now but the game is not yet over,” he said.
“Dismissal using locus standi strategy doesn’t mean they are innocent, it’s only about technicalities but the truth is Zimura has no leadership now.”