ZBC riles artistes over unpaid royalties


ACTORS for Tshuz’ Mazikhethela, a sitcom produced by the State broadcaster the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) are struggling to get royalties from the station nearly a year after the series was screened on ZBC/TV.

Own Correspondent

The series produced by Patrick Mabhena, a local actor and playwright, became a hit on local television and featured one of the city’s decorated actress Sarah Mpofu, popularly known as Tashi in entertainment circles.

Enraged artistes, who were part of the cast, allege the State broadcaster has not paid them a cent to date despite engaging the production officials on several occasions.

“ZBC has failed to pay us even a cent since Tshuz’ Mazikhethela was screened on ZBC/TV about 14 months ago,” an artiste who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said.

“The Actors’ Equity has tried its best to talk to production officials, but their efforts have yielded nothing. Even the National Arts Council knows about the matter,” fumed the artiste.

But ZBC/TV’s head of production and television services Clifford Mufiriri could not comment on the matter and referred all questions to the broadcaster’s public relations officer Sivukile Simango.

However, Simango said he was not aware of the matter, claiming he needed to confirm with the production and finance departments whether artistes have lodged a claim or not.

“I am not sure whether the artistes have made a claim or not regards their payments,” he said.

“I will confirm with the production department first and also verify with the finance department to ascertain whether the claim has been lodged and payments made or not.”

The State broadcaster has in the past failed to pay artistes royalties after screening or airing their productions.

ZBC is presently failing to pay its employees, including journalists, their monthly salaries.