There was drama on Wednesday at Safaricom House when gospel singer Ringtone led artists in a demonstration over Skiza Tune royalties.
The artists, who said they had not been paid for three months, feared that their moneys were making their way into the pockets of corrupt individuals.
One of the banners at the demonstration read, “Morris stop conning poor artists.”
Another read, “Artists sing, the MCSK C.E.O’s, wife benefits. Why?”
The artists were scheduled to receive their moneys from the Music and Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), but this process was halted because of a court case involving the society’s CEO.
Earlier this month, MCSK CEO was arrested for colluding with his wife’s company to steal money from the society sparked a debate in the media.
Maurice has, however, denied a case being filed against him saying: “A complaint was lodged against myself and two colleagues. The file was placed before the DPP this morning and was not registered. This is the procedure in cases where there is no evidence to warrant a trial. There is no case that has been filed against us and we are all fine.”
According to Okoth, his ‘baseless’ case is not an isolated incident.
“Our Board Chairman had also been arrested two weeks back. His arrest had also been instigated with absolutely no basis. There are reasons why the cases were instigated and they are malicious to say the least,” he added.
The suit is yet to be determined.
This recent demonstration is not the first time that Ringtone has raised issues with the payment of royalties. The singer has previously clashed with Music and Copyright Society of Kenya concerning payment of the same.
MCSK CEO, Maurice Okoth, has sued Ringtone for alleged defamation.
“Over the past few months, you have made several false and extremely derogatory statements concerning our client, which statements have been posted by yourself on various public channels including mobile phone chat groups,” read the statement from Okoth’s lawyers.
The advocates went on to recount the particulars of the messages that Rigntone had allegedly been sharing, citing that the artist claimed to have a dossier on Okoth.
“We have had the opportunity to see this supposed dossier of yours and indeed the contents therein are extremely defamatory and contain complete falsehoods that cannot be justified. Under the Kenya Law, it is unlawful to engage in defamation of another’s character and reputation…” the letter continued to say.
Ringtone, however, denied receiving the letter.
“I have not been served yet, but I have heard about it. However, I don’t understand what he means by defamation since I’m part of MCSK and I’m allowed to talk about the organization as a member,” the singer reported.
“He claims that I defamed him on WhatsApp, but is he the only person called Maurice?” posed the singer during a recent media interview.
The MCSK board has said that they are seeking a solution to the impasse over the artists’ royalties.