Zimbabwe: Moyo under fire for using billions of taxpayers’ money to sponsor own band

14 November 2004

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has squandered at least Z$2-billion of public funds in recording and launching music group PaxAfro’s first CD, and in hosting music concerts aimed at sprucing up the Zimbabwean government’s battered image.

Moyo told parliament recently that he had spent close on Z$3-billion to set up and promote PaxAfro and to arrange various music concerts. He conceded that the music shows had only raised Z$900-million, resulting in a loss of almost Z$2-billion.
Moyo said the money was used for the payment of musicians, the booking of venues, accommodation, lighting systems, stage costs and broadcast charges for when concerts were broadcast live on television. Some of the money, he added, was used for production costs, transport and merchandising.

PaxAfro’s album Back2Black was launched amid pomp and fanfare in July at Victoria Falls. The album’s songs were composed and produced by Moyo. And there’s no escaping them as they saturate Zimbabwe’s airwaves. State-owned radio and televisions stations have been instructed to play them incessantly.

Defending his use of the money, Moyo told parliament that while he wrote the songs, he would not collect royalties from sales of the music because he wanted to develop local music. “Although I happen to have composed all the songs on the project, I collect no fees that I’m entitled to as an individual composer,” Moyo told parliament. “This is entitlement I have decided to forego, wishing instead to develop the artists and the industry,” he said.

Story from Sunday Times (Johannesburg) /

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