Tawanda Marwizi and Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondents
Confusion surrounds Nicholas Zakaria’s appointment as goodwill ambassador of Chitungwiza Town Council as the musician reportedly got a letter confirming his new role from some of the dormitory town’s bosses without the authority of the town clerk.
The Senior Lecture was appointed the cultural ambassador for Chitungwiza town council in 2010 and six years down the line the he has not received the promised benefits and the council bosses are distancing themselves from the matter.
He once approached the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe concerning the matter and the council responded by giving him a letter confirming his status.
Zakaria told The Herald that although he got a confirmation letter from the town council, the management is still to map a way forward regarding the issue.
“I got a letter from the town council confirming my role as cultural ambassador but to date they have not yet discussed the matter. Maybe it is because of the management changes,” he said.
To prove his word the musician released the letter that was issued on September 6, 2013 confirming his new role.
“Please be advised that Council at its 404th Ordinary meeting held on the 27th June 2013 resolved that Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria be accorded the Ambassadorial status and he be called for a meeting to consider the benefits with Council management,” reads the letter.
The letter was signed by Takesure Muronzi the acting director of Estates, Housing and Community Services.
However in a dramatic turn of events Chitungwiza town clerk George Makunde last week distanced himself from the letter saying they told the musician that the issue was dealt with prematurely.
“I don’t know anything about that issue. As far as I know we told him that our records tell us that issue was dealt with prematurely,” he said.
He could not divulge if there were to continue the dialogue with the artiste.
Makunde said maybe the musician could be complaining now because of the recent meeting the council had with other artistes.
“We had a meeting with a number of artistes recently and he could have thought we were considering them as our ambassadors. We have not given him anything as of now,” he said.
According to Zakaria, he was promised a number of benefits including an office at the Municipality premises, fuel every month, residential and commercial stands and exemption from paying rates.
For him that was the golden opportunity to further his wish to set an arts academy in Chitungwiza.
Sources said the town council last week sought the services of another musician who would liaise with residents on behalf the council in various issues of concern.
“They have not finished with Zakaria’s matter but have since approached a senior musician for his services to negotiate with the residents over rates,” said a source.
It seems several organisations have failed to honour their promises to the artists.
Suluman Chimbetu had another dispute with Zimbabwe National Roads Administration over ambassadorial benefits.