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B Flow Calls Out UPND Government For Not Paying Some Zambian Artist.

The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts is owing money to various music artists who provided entertainment services at last year’s Agricultural and Commercial Show. The ministry hired musicians to perform at the Show in what was viewed as a quest to support Zambian music, but now it is clear that the intent was to use artists to make the ministry look good in the eyes of the public and music consumers.


B Flow Wrote: We wish to categorically state that we are deeply disturbed to learn that performance fees for artists who support the ruling party who performed at the same event have been cleared while the rest of the artists have been waiting for more than 8 months. The artists have knocked on the ministry’s door severally, but their efforts have not yielded any results. Some of them have been calling and sending messages to the people in charge but they have either been blue-ticked or told ‘one of the signatories is not around’ or “we are working on it”.

Partiality and unfairness will not develop the entertainment industry. It seems the ministry is citing lack of funds as the reason for not paying the affected artists, but is widely believed that some of the artists who have not been paid are viewed as supporters of the former ruling party. The question is why did you request for their services in the first place if you knew there was no money to pay them within the legally stipulated period? How possible is it that an event can be organized without a budget?

Could it be that the Ministry of Arts just wanted to use these artists and ride on their upbeat music to make the show look good or was this just a way to punish them for not being openly affiliated to the party in power? If so, why the vindictiveness? Stop politicizing the arts sector and let entertainers thrive in their talents. These kinds of frustrations have the propensity to derail artists from focusing on their creativity, as they are forced to worry about how they will pay their bills when they are not getting paid for their craft. Pay the artists for their services and stop punishing them for political reasons.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) is proving to be a toothless body at the moment. ZAM has not helped these artists be remunerated for the entertainment services government contracted them to provide. It is sad to see the Association dancing to the tune of politicians when we all know that politicians will run to artists for help when it is time to campaign for votes. We are following this matter closely and we hope the government will pay the artists what is owed to them.