Kavango musicians fume over non-payment by ECN

RUNDU: Some prominent musicians in the two Kavango regions are still waiting on payment for services delivered during the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)’s roadshows in January this year.

About six artists from the Kavango East and Kavango West regions were contracted by the electoral body to perform during the roadshows to encourage residents to register to vote in the upcoming general elections during November this year.

Local musicians performed during such roadshows from 14 to 28 January this year throughout the two regions’ 14 constituencies, but are yet to be see a cent.

The general registration of voters’ activity took place from 15 January to 02 March this year.

One disgruntled musician, locally known as ‘Capitol K’, told Nampa on Wednesday that most artists do not have formal employment, and rely on music to “put bread on the table”.

Capitol K said such ‘delaying tactics’ by the ECN made the going tough for them, as they too have bills to pay.

Other disgruntled musicians include ‘Bsquare’, ‘Small Bee’, ‘Kanyetu’ and ‘Tjukuli’.

They all stated that the delay has put them in trouble with dancers used for the roadshows, as they too are demanding payment.

These musicians’ payment is estimated at more than N.dollars 30 000 collectively.

They then threatened to boycott future partnerships with the ECN.

Approached for comment, ECN voters’ education officer in the Kavango East Region, Daniel Kandjengo confirmed that no musician has indeed been remunerated yet.

He told this reporter that the ECN had to pay voters’ registration officials first, hence the delay in paying the musicians, which also includes other artists like ‘The Dogg’ and ‘Gazza’, as well as people living with disabilities used to encourage others to participate in the general registration of voters’ exercise.

Kandjengo added that the electoral body has started paying those who provided the sound systems, and that all musicians will get their money during the course of this week.

He, therefore, pleaded for patience.

SOURCE: NAMPA