By Trust Khosa
Andy Muridzo’s house is shaken after losing nine band members due to poor remuneration. Woes continue to mount for the young musician born Andrew Kudzai Ngwenya after having a fair share of troubles with ex-wife Mai Keketso.
However, the Jeetaz Band paymaster said he remains unaffected by the latest revolt by the deserters who cited poor working conditions, low remuneration and victimisation to this publication.
The Dherira hit-maker said he has since replaced the ‘rebels’ after a stalemate over the signing of ‘professional’ contracts.
Andy Muridzo was also quick to defend his decision to fire the ‘rebels’ saying it has enabled him to clear ‘weeds’ in his garden.
“Yes it is true there was a revolt over the weekend but it’s a non-event to say the least.
“I fired some of the band members after they refused to sign new contracts in line with our management’s stance to bring back sanity and professionalism in the group.
“We asked band members to sign contracts so that we operate as professionals.
“I wanted to put them on salaries but they refused to sign new contracts saying they wanted to be paid after every show.
“As you know, at times we don’t even get good numbers and at times we also get a bumper crowd but costs usually chew most of our revenue.
“A fixed salary is all I wanted to ensure the band members become professionals.”
The inimitable mbira player also laughed at reports he was the one fired by the rebels.
“How can they fire me when I am the owner of the project?
“Do they even know the meaning of the name Jeetaz?
“Well, if they continue using my name as they told you, I will definitely sue them,” fumed Andy Muridzo.
Asked whether there were chances of a possible reunion with rebels, he said:
“It’s now difficult because we have since roped in new people for continuity.
“If they want to come back, we will have to talk as management because we wanted to bring professionalism in the band.
“Those top groups you see doing well have contracts and most of them are getting a fixed salary and that’s what I also wanted to ensure that we bring professionalism.
“By so doing, they will be able to secure loans like most professionals but it’s sad they chose to operate in a disorderly manner.”
In another interview, the ‘rebels’ who had contacted H-Metro earlier said they had had enough of Jeetaz Band under their old boss.
“We were not getting our allowances ever since Andy roped in his new wife’s relatives in management.
“We wish Mai Keketso was around because she would fight for everyone.
“This Wednesday, we are not going to work but we will start holding our shows at City Sports Bar if all goes according to plan.
“We are going to use the name Jeetaz because it is ours since we have fired Andy Muridzo,” said one of the deserters.
Another ‘rebel’ who preferred anonymity said Andy Muridzo was neglecting their welfare after live shows.
“Imagine we were made to sleep in the open or at shows venue after he refused to pay us our daily allowances to be able to go home.
“At times we would sleep on pavements but we felt it was high time we left him.
“We have actually fired Andy Muridzo and we are not going back on our new plans.
“We have all the instrumentalists, backing vocalists like Quantum and Ashley, Sekuru Gudo, Spanner, Mabhurugwa, bass guitarist Nyika, keyboardist and congas’ player and sound engineer,” added one of the seething rebels.
When further contacted on accusations he ill-treated his employees, Andy Muridzo said:
“Honestly, I have never abused or victimised anyone as Implied.
“I don’t owe anyone and I am not there to help people on how to use their salaries.
“If people are irresponsible there is nothing I can do because I would have played my part.
“I did the best for them but the only crime I committed is that I wanted to bring about professionalism in the band by making them sign contracts.
“To be honest, it’s high time we operate like professionals and the signing of contracts was the first step that we had taken but I was shocked they had other plans.
“I thought they would share the same vision with me but band members wanted things which are done in a disorderly manner.”
Meanwhile, his midweek shows at Eastpoint will go ahead even though the rebels are planning a ‘counter’ gig on the same night in the capital. H Metro