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Cosoma still awaits board

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Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) is currently operating without a board following the end of term for the previous board which was led by Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango.

During the copyright body’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Blantyre in September, members elected new members earmarked for the board and they included Mhango, Rudo Mkukupha Chakwera and musician and former Member of Parliament Joseph Tembo.

Apart from Mhango, the other previous members of the board were musician and actor Mafumu Matiki, Apostle Chitheka, Andrew Faria, Andrew Chisamba and Maganizo Mazeze.

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Some artists however, have expressed concern with the delay in approving the new board by the government.

“Last time it also took a long time for the Cosoma board to be put in place and this led to several challenges. Cosoma is currently running without a board,” said an artist, who did not want to be named.

But Cosoma Executive Director Dora Mwakwinja said they already submitted the names to the government for approval in September soon after the AGM.

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Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Chiumia said yesterday that she was aware that Cosoma is currently operating without a board and that this is one of the issues she discussed with Musicians Union of Malawi(Mum) members when she met with them recently.

“As a ministry we are aware that Cosoma has no board and I have already made steps to find out. It’s not only this issue which as a ministry we are working on, there are several issues that members from Mum raised during a meeting recently including the Copyright Bill,” said Chiumia.

Some artists have said that the minister is not doing enough to propel the creative industry observing that she is taking much interest in sports.

But Chiumia said she has a responsibility as a minister to help develop both sports and the creative industry.

“I am committed to uplift both sports and culture. As I said we want to do more and for instance on the Copyright Bill we are working hard to make sure that by February this bill goes to Parliament. There are also other issues raised by artists we are looking into,” she said.

Mhango, who is the Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President hailed the minister for taking an interest in their affairs but was quick to point out that she has to do more.

“By giving us time to discuss with her our problems just showed that her door is open to work with the creative industry. She assured us during the meeting that she will see to it that the Copyright Bill goes to Parliament.

We also talked about the issue of venues including the Blantyre Cultural Centre which is still in a sorry state and she said they are doing something although funding is the biggest challenge,” he said.

During the meeting Mhango said they also wanted to seek an audience with President Peter Mutharika through the minister.

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