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Toni Braxton promoter faces arrest

HARARE – Local music promoter Bernie Bismark, who is behind the historic Toni Braxton and Babyface concert held at Borrowdale Racecourse on August 28 faces arrest, a government official has said.

Toni Braxton and Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds. Photograph: Broadimage/REX
Toni Braxton and Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds. Photograph: Broadimage/REX

Acting Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Walter Mzembi said Bismark has disappeared with royalties worth US$15000 which he is supposed to pay to the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe for bringing an international artiste.

Mzembi who was speaking as the guest of honour at sungura prodigy Peter Moyo’s album launch titled Masimba aMwari over the weekend said they have given the promoter an ultimatum to bring the money or he risks arrest.

He said he was angry with Bismark because he came through his office to liaise with NACZ so that he can be allowed to pay the money after the show.

“There is this promoter of the Toni Braxton and Babyface gig. He disappeared with the money he was supposed to pay to NACZ ,” said Mzembi

“I am very bitter with the promoter because he came through my Ministry and we had to liaise with NACZ after he pleaded to pay the money after the show and after the show he fled and did not communicate. I am giving him an ultimatum to come with that money or he gets arrested. I am serious. I will order for his arrest myself.

Any promoter bringing an international artiste is mandated to pay a certain amount of money to the NACZ – depending on the charges of the show and the money they have paid the artiste. Mzembi made the remarks addressing local promoters, challenging them to be professional to avoid national embarrassment.

“I want to encourage more creativity in this area (music promotion) but it should be coupled with honesty and integrity especially on the part of promoters to avoid national embarrassments when they don’t stick to the terms and conditions of contracts that they would have signed with their musicians. H Metro