The late Tongai “Dhewa” Moyo’s son, Peter is reportedly failing to sustain his Utakataka Express outfit and is on the verge of losing some of his key band members.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Some of his band members who were injured in an accident in December are alleged to have received a paltry US$20 each as January salaries.
This comes amid revelations that Peter’s shows have fallen in popularity as he continues to struggle to maintain the status he inherited from his father over a year ago.
Sources suggest that some of the band members may be heading to Mutare to join Dhewa’s close friend Brian Samaita.
Samaita could not confirm the assertion but said he was free to employ whoever passed his test.
“I am in the process of moulding a group, so I will employ anyone who passes the test regardless of which group he or she is coming from,” said Samaita.
Band members who spoke to Standardlife&style received confirmation the band was facing financial challenges but they denied allegations they were on the move.
Saviours Karikodza, the bassist said he was almost evicted after failing to raise US$35 for rent at his Mbizo 12 lodging as he had been paid a paltry US$20.
Karikodza was initially reluctant to comment and said the crisis within the band was due to the January recession in showbiz, but later divulged that he had to find money elsewhere.
“The situation was bad and I had to find money elsewhere since the US$20 I had been given was not enough,” said Karikodza.
“I do not have any plans to move and I have not heard of any such plans from my fellow band members.”
Rhythmist Evidence Tarabuka, popularly referred to as “Baba Gari”, also confirmed that the band was in a crisis.
“We are expecting the situation to improve, particularly as we head towards month end because life has become unbearable,” he said.
“It was worsened by the accident that we were involved in so we really struggled in January. I only managed to make ends meet because I have a tradition of paying my rentals for the festive season in advance.”
Peter last week confirmed that January was a bad month for the band.
“There were no shows in January so there was nothing to give them,” he said.
“Bands are normally paid on Mondays after weekend performances but we had a double jeopardy this year considering that the band had been in an accident. I had to fork out over US$4 000 from my bank account for treatment of the injured.”
He said he further lost another US$5 000 to purchase another vehicle to replace the one that had been wrecked in the accident since it did not belong to the band.
Peter said he was not aware of any complaints from the band and laughed off the rumour that some of the band members were on the verge of leaving.
“If any one of them wanted to leave, they would have left a long time ago,” he said.
“These days we are rehearsing for my debut album and I am sure no one would commit time to rehearsals when they intend to leave.”
If Peter were to be deserted, it would be the second time for him to lose band members.
Last year he lost chanter Gift Katulika aka “Shiga Shiga”, bassist Spencer Khumulani and drummer Guyson Sixpence, to Energy Mutodi.