Teething problems for new ZAM

TIVO and Njoya T.

IT LOOKS like it will be a tumultuous tenure for the new Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) national executive committee that was elected last week.Some members have alleged that the election of the new executive committee headed by Tivo Shikapwasha as chairman and Sista D as the vice-chairperson was illegal as the constitution was abrogated.
Soon after the elections, six provinces petitioned the National Arts Council (NAC) not to recognise the new leadership.
The petitioners claim the electoral process was not in tandem with the association’s constitution.
Northern Province ZAM chairperson Mbalazi Chikonde, who spoke on behalf of the petitioners, said the elections were flawed and did not represent the will of the majority.
“The new executive was voted by Lusaka-based musicians because majority of people from other provinces never took part in the voting process,” Chikonde told the Weekend Mail in Lusaka.
“According to our constitution, only five people from each province are supposed to vote and if this clause has to amended, then voting can only take place after 48 hours [of amending the clause of Electoral College voting.
“Six provinces out of eight withdrew from the meeting and never voted because of the constitutional abrogation and mockery from Lusaka Province.”
He said the new executive does not have a national character because representatives from Muchinga, Northern, Central, Luapula, North- Western and Western provinces never took part in the voting.
But Tivo insisted that as far as he was concerned, the elections were well conducted by NAC with the Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) as monitors.
But Jim Phiri aka Cox, who was Njoya T’s vice-chairman in the previous executive, wants a new extraordinary conference to be called to elect a new leadership.
He told the Weekend Mail in Kabwe that the meeting should be held within the next three months to correct the outcome of the conference held on May 11 at Barn Motel in Lusaka.
Cox said each province was expected to be represented by five members as stipulated by the ZAM constitution.
“Eight provinces attended apart from Copperbelt, and Lusaka has had no committee for a long time,” Cox said. “So, when it came to elections, clause 0.2 and clause 0.3 of ZAM constitution were not followed.”
Veteran musician and former ZAM chairman Brian Shakarongo says he fully supports the election of the new executive committee.
“Firstly, the constitution was abrogated when the Maiko Zulu-led executive was removed unconstitutionally and for no apparent reason whatsoever by the Mulenga Kapwepwe-led Council, replaced the existing constitution then with the 2004 constitution which we ‘discarded’ (amended) in 2010 or somewhere there, which ushered in Njoya T and his team,” Shakarongo said.
“I did not hear any of those people complain about the so, called Constitution or about the Mulenga Kapwepwe council acting illegally. That 2004 constitution was not working for us musicians (ZAM members), because of the same Electoral College arrangement, it is not effective and has never delivered the desired results required in this day and age to move the music industry.
“That’s why Njoya and his team could not hold a single Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the over four years they stayed illegally in office. We can’t have a minority of people who have a full time job somewhere away from the music industry masquerading as musicians run the affairs of the majority who are full time in the industry. I fully support the Tivo Shikapwasha-led executive, I feel it’s a vibrant team which will bring in new ideas on to the table.”
And Petersen Zagaze says he is proud to mention that there is a new ZAM national executive committee which was ushered into office through the transparent guidance and supervision of SACCORD and NAC.
“Minutes and a video of all the proceedings were documented by the mother board (NAC),” Petersen said. “A lot of crimes committed by the previous ZAM NEC were unearthed, including unprofessionally prepared financial report that was rejected and dropped for audit.”
He said the previous ZAM NEC has never held any AGM in the four years of their reign despite efforts by NAC.
“The former NEC kept the communication of membership registration a secret, and only communicated to selected artists who they desired, hence the non-existence of membership until this year when a wrong AGM instead of an extraordinary convention was secretly sent to their preferred via WhatsApp messages,” Petersen said.
“The actual extra ordinary convention was a secret that many influential artistes did not even know about. The delegation that constitutes an Electoral College’s identity was kept a secret making only the committee members in office know who’s going to vote and who exactly to campaign to.”
Other than Tivo and Sista D, other members of the new executive are Gloria Siyazana (general secretary), DJ Massaj (deputy general secretary), KB K-Amy (treasurer), B’Flow (publicity secretary), Classic (projects secretary) and (research and documentation secretary).

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