By Memory Chatonda
The tax-payer funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has paid K51 million in loyalties to Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) for musicians who have had their music played on the corporation’s two radio stations.
Of late, there has been disagreement between MBC and Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) over loyalty arrears amounting to K164 million which the corporation has been accumulating since 2011.
But last year, after a successful meeting with MUM, the corporation started fulfilling its obligation through payments to clear outstanding royalties.
Briefing journalists on Thursday in Blantyre after handing over the final cheque of K51, 406, 167, MBC Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta described the payment as a game changer that will strengthen the relationship that exists between MBC and MUM.
“As MBC, we value our partnership with MUM as they complement our objective to inform, educate and entertain the masses.
“As such, we thought of committing ourselves to clear all the arrears accrued from 2011 and also make loyalty payment in advance,” he said.
He then pledged to continue working together with MUM to implement various projects which the Corporation intends to undertake in few months.
MBC Board chair Daniel Gunya encouraged musicians to step up their efforts in composing songs that would address the needs of Malawians in present time.
“Be innovative in all music genres and produce as well as record music that is of good quality to meet the expectations of the people. MBC is ready to provide a platform to play the music,” he said.
MUM President Gloria Manong’a expressed gratitude to MBC for remitting all the arrears it owed the musicians in the country and urged other radio stations to emulate the gesture.
“We have now come to the closure of the arrears and we are so grateful. This gesture will motivate us and also encourage others to step up efforts in music industry to reap positive fruits from their talent,” she said.
She then assured MBC that deserving musicians will receive their money from the loyalties.