Musicians in the country plan to present their grievances to government through a meeting with Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa on Friday.
Initially, the musicians, under the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM), intended to hold a demonstration at Parliament Building in the second week of June.
But they have since resolved to meet the minister to exhaust channels of dialogue before proceeding with a demonstration.
The musicians are aggrieved with how their products are marketed, delays in payment of royalties, inadequate funding towards the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma), lack of the ministry’s interest in developing the arts, delays in enacting the Cultural Policy and reviewing the Copyright Act.
These concerns are contained in a statement, which The Nation has seen and will be presented to the minister.
It reads in part: “The following list of issues is a compilation of concerns expressed by all musicians in Malawi through the Musicians Union of Malawi. This is a result of noting that government and other related stakeholders have apparently failed to listen to our concerns.
“This is only a crystalisation of the concerns. It is therefore in the expectations of all musicians that government will take these issues seriously. Should this fail we will have no option but use our constitutional right to demonstrate, as a last resort.”
In an interview, MUM president Chimwemwe Mhango confirmed tomorrow’s meeting, but could not be drawn to comment on the agenda.
“There are a number of grievances that musicians have against government. We feel that we are neglected as musicians. The issue of piracy is, of course, one of them. But we cannot say more because it will be like pre-empting our discussion,” said Mhango.
He said if government fails to address their concerns then they will consider a demonstration to Parliament Building.
“If we feel that they are not hearing us then we will demonstrate to attract attention from government,” he said.