By Tendai Rupapa
Orchestra Dendera Kings leader Sulumani Chimbetu has applied for the reduction of his contribution towards the upkeep of two minor children he sired with ex-wife Marygold Mutemasango from $800 to $200 per month citing economic hardships and changed circumstances. Chimbetu (35), who is paying $800 maintenance, was in June this year convicted for failing to pay the money.
The court is set to hear his application for downward variation on October 30. The musician has enlisted the services of Harare lawyer Mr Arshiel Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers.
In his application through Mr Mugiya, Chimbetu said the $800 he is paying was exorbitant and unsustainable.
“I am an employee of a company called Orchestra Dendera Kings Pvt Ltd and this entity is the one that owns the musical band and it sustains all the 20 people I work with and my current salary is $750.
The reason why I have pointed out my actual earnings is that the respondent seems to labour under an understanding that my income is unlimited and that I am literally swimming in gold.
In her mind, when she notices a number of people at the shows, she thinks that whatever is receipted directly finds its way into my pockets without any deductions or expenses involved,” he said.
He said people were no longer attending shows in their numbers as they used to in the past and he is now holding less shows owing to economic hardships, hence he was failing to make ends meet.
Chimbetu said international shows were now hard to come by, a factor that has eroded their earnings as musicians.
Chimbetu also pointed out piracy as a major blow to their earnings. Sulu, as the musician is affectionately known, further added that he does not get income from some of his roles as brand ambassador.
“I do not realise any money from those projects, most of them have been made in my capacity as a celebrity who is giving back to the community as a social responsibility.
I am an ambassador for Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services as well as a school called Simon Chimbetu Primary and Secondary in Chegutu. Let me reiterate, I do not receive an iota of money from them.
I also associate with Delta Beverages and Alfa-Omega and the contracts were verbal once off payments not the picture that respondent has that I am earning every month from my associations,” he said.
He also submitted that his wife used to help him in paying other bills, but now that she lost her job in August this year, the burden now lies on him alone.
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