ZIMURA fires board member Chipfumbu Phillip Chipfumbu

Arts Reporter

Barely a month after some board members of the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) expressed displeasure over the alleged mishandling of the association’s funds, the executive board has responded.

The alleged mishandling of funds was reported to police who have since confirmed that investigations are in progress.

Last week ZIMURA top executives issued a statement clarifying the allegations and said they are working on suing the perpetrators for defamation and cyber bullying.

Since then, the executive board has imploded with accusations and counter accusations flying across.

ZIMURA spokesperson Alexio Gwenzi said the organisation had fired Phillip Chipfumbu who was the leader of the team which reported to the police, for flouting laid down procedure and malicious gossip, among others.

Although Gwenzi said Chipfumbu’s claim was part of a smear campaign to tarnish board members and the ZIMURA brand, Chipfumbu insists he has incriminating evidence.

“The ZIMURA board hereby notifies its members and stakeholders that Phillip Chipfumbu was removed from the board through a board motion on May 8 2023,” said Gwenzi.

He said the decision was taken after his recent actions that were deemed contrary to the association’s procedures and culture.

“ZIMURA would also like to inform its stakeholders that Mr Chipfumbu is no longer a Zimura member with effect from 22 May 2023.”

“It is very unfortunate that Mr Chipfumbu does not appreciate corporate governance and his ignorance led him to act in a way that brings the organisation into disrepute,” said Gwenzi.

Gwenzi explained that Chipfumbu’s utterances included the abuse of funds during a trip to Bulawayo on 15 March 2023.

“The trip was a normal management activity as part of its day to day running of the organisation. Management is mandated to carry out the day to day functions of ZIMURA, including executing resolutions that the board would have made.”

“His claim that ZIMURA had no management team is baseless and unfounded because there is a legally appointed management team. “The board appoints the head of administration who in turn appoints other staff members. All employees at ZIMURA have contracts, hence there are no ghost workers as wrongly claimed by Mr Chipfumbu,” said Gwenzi.

Gwenzi said Chipfumbu’s claim and his friend’s comments that the board members are thieves is a mere fabrication coming from an ill-informed and misguided element.

“No board member has misappropriated any funds from the organisation. This claim is part of a smear campaign to tarnish the board members’ image and the ZIMURA brand. Soon the perpetrators will answer for defamation and cyber bullying charges that have been laid against them.”

He said ZIMURA is audited every year and no report of abuse of funds has ever surfaced.

“Mr Chipfumbu voted for the adoption of the last five audits. The auditors are chosen by the general members at a general meeting. “The claim that the board is captured. The board has a cordial working relationship with management and his claim of the board being captured is malicious and once again, a fabrication that needs to be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”

Gwenzi said there was never a breach of the ZIMURA constitution. “All legal requirements have religiously been adhered to and the companies’ office has updated documents listing the current directors of the organizsation.”

“There was never an omission to register elected board members. The directors’ list that Chipfumbu and Nyakudanga are using to claim that the constitutional breach happened was pulled from a ZIMURA old file that had gone missing for some time at the companies’ office.”

“They also deliberately left out the chairperson, Albert Nyathi in the affidavit that they are waving to try and discredit him as a bona fide board member.”

This only goes to show their malice and irresponsible tendencies. Their misrepresentation is also proof of the confusion that they are trying to create on 22 June 2023.”

Gwenzi further clarified that one, Fred Nyakudanga is not a ZIMURA member.

“His membership was terminated on 27 July 2022 for riotous behaviour of which he has now seemingly recruited Chipfumbu to bring the name of the organisation into disrepute. The Memorandum and Articles of Association provides circumstances under which an Extra Ordinary Meeting can be convened. As such, Chipfumbu and company do not have any legal right to convene an Extraordinary Meeting of the members of ZIMURA. In fact, some of the names listed on their petition are not members and cannot be allowed to pass decisions for the organisation. The petition was signed by 27 known members out of the 4000+ members. An Extra Ordinary Meeting requires a quorum of 50% of membership.”

He said Chipfumbu and his few friends think that ZIMURA is a welfare organisation for artists.

“To believe that the Association should look into their welfare simply because they once released a song is absurd. In any case, such artists are a handful; maybe around 1% of the ZIMURA membership. ZIMURA distributes royalties based on music enjoying airplay. All distribution models are resolved by the board. In the last distribution a membership allowance was voted for in terms of a precedent set by ZIMURA in its early days. The distribution was also preceded by a random survey. We urge all progressive members of our beloved association to ignore these malcontents who are now clutching on straws and barking in the wilderness.”

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