He said there were no strong laws and policies which protected musicians, authors, sculptors and other artists who were being driven out of business because of piracy and other copyrights infringements.
“Piracy is like rape because you will be taking away our rights as artists,” said Mtukudzi.
“No one has really been imprisoned in line with the gravity of the offence. Maybe this is because of lack of respect and the general negative attitude towards artists.”
Mtukudzi, whose Kiss FM lost the bid for one of the two commercial radio licences, was still hopeful that his company would soon be licensed.
“I am confident that this is going to happen and we are going to be licensed,” he said without elaborating.
Mtukudzi was also confident that Zimbabwean artists were going to play a major role in improving the image of the country battered by almost a decade of a political and economic crisis.
“Our image can only be straightened by our artists,” he said.
“Art is a reflection of who we truly are and this sector can improve the image of the country in any form.”
Mtukudzi cited sculptor Dominic Benhura as one of the artists that carried the country’s flag high whenever he holds exhibitions, workshops and sales for his internationally acclaimed works.
“We have no competition because there is no better us than us. Benhura is an ambassador and that is what we all are when we are out there, yet we do not get any respect and protection,” he said.
‘Spot and support talent’
Tuku warned parents against imposing their failures on children and instead urged them to support their children’s artistic aspirations.
“When a child kicks a ball that breaks a cabinet, before reprimanding him, first congratulate him for the powerful shot. That is how we are supposed to support talent,” he said.
“The vision that I had when I built this place (referring to Pakare Paye Arts Centre) was to make sure that the artists that are born everyday do not face the same problems that I faced when I started music. I am happy that the vision has been realised while I am still alive and that the centre is serving its purpose.”
Mtukudzi cited many new talents that have been nurtured by the centre, among them Churchill High School students, Innocent Mapemba and Munya Mataruse, whom he described as superstars.
Tuku, who turns 60 later this year, said his birthday was going to be a special one in a sense that his father died when he was 60.
“I will be celebrating my life and that of my father. I will do my best and I will invite my friends who are my fans for the celebrations,” he said.