By Mtandazo Dube
HARARE – Dancehall chanter Winky D faces a 10-year ban from the United Kingdom for allegedly swindling US$27 000 from England-based Zimbabwean promoter Luther Pakazvakavambwa.
The “Paita Party” singer, who bailed out of a planned tour of the UK despite being paid a few weeks ago, is understood to already have been blacklisted from performing in Australia.
Winky D, born Wallace Chirumiko, will become the second Zim dancehall artiste to be banned from entering the UK after King Shaddy was barred for “deception” in 2012.
In a telephone interview last week, Pazvakavambwa of Digital One Promotions said he could not let Winky D and his management “walk scot-free” after inflicting such financial injuries on his company.
“I paid £2 800 for work permits, £1 500 for visas, £9 800 on air tickets, £1 200 for accommodation and his performance fee of £4 475 plus other minor but related costs. This is not money that one can just let go.
“Only a fool would invest so much money and time only to mess up at the last minute. These guys missed the flight for reasons best known to themselves . . . Winky D should know that before he engages any UK promoter he must fulfil these shows he missed with us,” said Pazvakavambwa.
The promoter said his lawyers had already engaged the UK Border Agency and that Winky D faces a lengthy ban from performing in the UK and other EU countries.
On the other hand Winky D’s international manager, Bartholomew Vera, dismissed talk of being banned from the UK as “wishful thinking”.
“He does not have such powers as he is merely a middleman not a real promoter/sponsor in the UK,” said Vera.
“We have not received any such communication from the actual sponsors of the show or the UK Border Agency. I don’t think this guy (Pazvakavambwa) even understands his own contract with his handlers or us. He has no grounds to do that. He does not even communicate with the UK Border Agency.”
Winky D’s manager accused Pazvakavambwa of using fraudulent tickets.
“Check the documents that he sent you – they are not in order. Some of the tickets were cancelled; you can get the reference numbers and get confirmation from the airlines,” said Vera.
“Jah Man, this is up to you to write or not but this guy . . . He can’t do these things he is claiming he can do.
“Matters like these are sorted out by lawyers or in the courts not in newspapers – this should show you that this guy is just being malicious.”
However, Pazvakavambwa maintained he had been defrauded.
“It is surprising for Winky D’s manager to accuse us of obtaining their tickets fraudulently yet the airline itself hasn’t reported the incident to us or the police.
“It should be noted that the same airline that they were supposed to board is the same that other artistes flew on.
“We have not received any complaints from any of our service providers including airlines that flew in other artistes.
“We respect Winky D as an artiste but his managers need to be professional and tell facts not fiction,” argued Pazvakavambwa.
Winky D was supposed to have performed alongside Soul Jah Love, Shinsoman, Tocky Vibes and Trevor D, among other local acts at the UK Summer Fiesta Tour in early May. Sunday Mail