Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango is under fire from some artists who claim that he has failed to drive the music body forward.
One of the artists Kelvin Sato said Mhango is now serving his second term in office and that as artists they expected him to have changed things by now.
“To me Mum is still not making progress and just to show you that there is no progress, Mum does not have a proper office in Lilongwe by now and we are still acting as a briefcase union,” said Sato, who is a gospel musician.
He blasted Mhango saying he talks a lot but does not put things in place.
“How can you say that Mum has made headway when the union up to now does not even have a website and an office? The only office they have is the one in Blantyre but in Lilongwe there is no office,” said Sato.
But Mhango said he is aware of all the issues that some members have been raising through social forums.
“I know all these issues but I would rather not comment because those artists who have problems should be raising their concerns through the meetings we conduct in the chapters. Mum is not something that operates like a club, we have paid up members who follow issues and we meet to discuss various concerns,” said Mhango.
But Sato, who is a gospel musician, said the national executive, lacks the power to bring out results and that it is not good at implementing projects.
“I am hitting at Reverend Mhango because he is the one who is driving Mum but this to me is not personal. As a musician I am concerned I want Mum to be up there,” he said.
Sato also zeroed in on the Music Malawi (Muma) Awards which received heavy criticism this year for the several anomalies saying that up to now nothing has happened.
“The first year people criticised the awards but people still gave in because it was the first year but now come the second year the same things happened and actually this year it was worse than the first year. We are now half and yet we have heard nothing from the executive as to what they have done in solving the problems encountered during the awards,” he said.
Sato said Mum could have by now sat down with the stakeholders but the executive has remained quiet and that it is not yet clear as to whether the awards are sustainable.
“There are lots of problems and to me Mum is not running as a union let alone driven by a team which knows its work, there are members who are in the national executive but do not know anything, the executive is driven by a few people,” he said.
Sato said most of the members, who go to the meetings, are the ones that have not yet made names.
“Mum to me is still disorganised, this is why in all the chapter meetings they claim that musicians gather, well established or well known musicians do not attend. We need a Mum that will have all musicians on board. Musicians are suffering out there,” he said.
Mhango maintained that he does not want to comment on issues of this nature adding that Sato and all those who have issues should come in the open and channel their complaints through chapters.
“I follow all the issues taking place in the chapters and the members have not filed any complaints,” he said adding that some people have personal issues with him.
He said there are a lot of successes for Mum since he took over power.
Some artists have also called on the leader to relinquish one of his positions as he is also the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) board chairperson.
But Mhango said he is not the first person to hold two positions as late Gertrude Webster Kamkwatira was also National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) chairperson and Cosoma board chair.
“Constitutionally Cosoma is supposed to be led by artists and so this is why he holds two positions and this cannot change,” he said.
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