Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Board has given its seal of approval to the outcome of deliberations, including elections, held during the music body’s congress on December 28 2022 in Lilongwe.
The development follows recent calls by concerned musicians who wrote Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU), asking it to nullify the election results, while musicians from Mum Johannesburg chapter in South Africa wrote the board, indicating that the elections were not free and fair.
In their letter, the concerned musicians, who included Donnex Muva and Khuza Rampi, who contested for the position of vice president and lost to Martha Nthakomwa, said the elections had anomalies.
Among other things, the musicians alleged in their letter that the current president, Vita Chirwa, who defeated outgoing president Gloria Manong’a and Anthony Dumba, was not supposed to contest as he was an inactive member which was against an article in their constitution and that he campaigned outside the campaign period.
Mum Johannesburg chapter in South Africa, in their letter to the board of trustees, claimed that they were denied a chance to vote during the elections despite being paid- up members.
The deliberations during the congress saw members, among other things, amending the constitution whereas the elections saw Chirwa, a Lilongwe-based Kalimba Band leader, being elected president deputised by Nthakomwa from Mzuzu.
Communication from the board, signed by its secretary Wellington Chatepa, has since requested the union to go by the recent announcement from Mum’s secretariat.
The board says it is aware of the concerns expressed by some of the members against the conduct and results of the elections.
It, however, says the board has made its observations and argues that the concerns were presented in laissez-faire manner “which passes for a mere social media affair”.
“The Whatsapp messages which carried the concerns were not signed by the originators or filed by a serious organisation like Mum,” the letter reads.
The board has since called upon members to unite and walk with one voice in their pursuit for the growth of the creative industry.
“In this regard, the board would like to call upon all members to hold back their reactions in the matter to avert frustrations in the systems that are expected to put the matter to rest,” the letter reads.
The board further says it respects the resolutions from the congress until investigations prove otherwise.
Mum Board of Trustees Chairperson Wycliffe Chimwendo, who also maintained last week that the elections were free and fair, confirmed news of the board’s approval of the deliberations and elections results Monday.
“This is the latest communication endorsed by the board,” Chimwendo said.
On their part, the aggrieved musicians said they have nothing further to say as they are waiting to hear from MCTU.
“We are waiting to hear from MCTU and Labour Ministry; otherwise we presented everything to them and for us the elections were not free and fair. We have all the evidence,” Muva said.
Rampi said they will be meeting MCTU soon and that the board’s letter does not hold water