Sungura maestro, Gift Amuli, was reportedly forced to abandon his show in Shurugwi last Friday after he was involved in a scuffle with one of his band members over non-payment of allowances. According to sources, the band member, Fyton Dube, who plays rhythm guitar, sustained a bruised face and was forced to return to Harare as other members proceeded with the tour of the Midlands after he allegedly exchanged blows with Amuli.
The sources said Amuli was forced to cut short his live performance at Tawu Night Club in Shurugwi after he was allegedly pelted by frustrated fans. The source said Amuli’s performance was below standard following the unceremonious departure of his rhythm guitarist, Dube. “Most of Amuli’s fans were very disappointed by the way the musician handled his band members’ grievances over payment. They were particularly irked by how Amuli treated one of his band members, Fyton Dube. Instead of resolving the matter amicably, Amuli and Dube traded blows and this affected the whole programme as the band failed to click after Dube left and returned to Harare,” said the source.
Dube confirmed that he quit the Shurugwi tour and went back to Harare after he was allegedly assaulted by Amuli.
He said he had confronted the Zvishavane Sounds frontman demanding his dues when he was assaulted.
“The whole of last week, we were performing in Chiredzi, and Mkwasine. We did not get anything in terms of allowances and when we were in Shurugwi, I approached Amuli and demanded our allowances after my fellow band members had also complained,” he said.
Dube said Amuli gave each band member a $5 allowance for the Chiredzi and Mkwasine shows and later turned violent after being questioned about the poor remuneration.
“He accused me of trying to incite other band members to strike and started assaulting me. He was stopped from further assaulting me by other band members,” said Dube who started his music carrier with the late Marko Sibanda.
The rhythm guitarist said he decided to quit the band’s Midlands tour after realising that Amuli was not willing to pay them their allowances.
“I could not stand the violent behaviour which was exhibited by Amuli and I decided to leave. This is not the first time Amuli turned violent when asked about our allowances. He slapped me in the face early this year after I asked him about our allowances. He seems to have serious problems when it comes to paying band members.
“However, I have never reported him to the police despite his violent behaviour because I know he is a colleague. Every time we fight, he always comes back to me and apologises. I know he will do the same after the assault incident,” he said.
Amuli denied having assaulted Dube when he was contacted yesterday. “The guy is a drunkard and on the day in question, he felt he could not perform with the band on stage and decided to leave,” said Amuli.