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Musicians to meet minister Friday

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Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) is expected to meet Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa on Friday.

The meeting follows musicians’ decision to march to Parliament over different challenges they are facing, including piracy which is robbing them of income.

Mum president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango confirmed of the meeting yesterday saying they are ready to discuss with the minister several issues.

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“It’s true we are meeting the minister Friday (tomorrow). The government decided to invite us for this meeting after getting reports through the media that we were going to march to Parliament. So as musicians we have accepted this meeting and we are hopeful that it will be fruitful,” said Mhango.

He said the members of Mum executive as well as representatives 10 each from the Southern and Central chapters as well as five members each from the Northern and Eastern regions will meet the minister.

Musicians have been discussing through their forum of the idea to march with many saying that they have suffered enough and that it was high time they marched to Parliament to present their grievances.

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Some of the issues the musicians have raised over their march include the issuing of soft copy licences by Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) which they say is propelling piracy and the delay in reviewing the Copyright Act.

The musicians say that the government has neglected them in a lot of areas and yet the creative industry contributes a lot to the development of the country.

Recently Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Goodall Gondwe announced that they had set aside K100 million to the creative industry in the current budget.

However, while some have welcomed the move as the creative industry has not been receiving any funding in the past years, other artists have described the K100 million as not enough.

Meanwhile some musicians who opted for anonymity said they are not happy with the idea of meeting the minister saying they wanted to meet the President.

“We have been meeting ministers but they have not helped us. For now we need to meet the President if things have to really change otherwise the Mum executive has not done us any good. We could have just gone ahead and marched to Parliament,” said the artists.

But Mhango said this is the first process in their move stressing that the march will still go ahead if they will not be convinced with the meeting.

“Let me assure fellow musicians that we still stand by the march but then we felt it was still important to meet the minister because he also represents the government. We will brainstorm on all the problems facing the creative industry,” said the Mum president.

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