Dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu's much hyped United Kingdom trip has been called off amid revelations that he failed to agree terms with the promoter. Instead, fast rising Jah Prayzah, will now be going to the United Kingdom for two shows scheduled for September 21 and 22.
Show promoter Steady Munyanyi of Diamond Studios confirmed the latest development, but refused to comment further, citing confidentiality.
"Look, it would be so unfair of me to take a contract negotiated in confidence to the papers, simply because we have failed to agree on certain issues.
"All I can say is that I will no longer be taking Suluman Chimbetu to the UK, but I am now going with Mukudzei Mukombe (Jah Prayzah)," he said.
However, Sulu's manager, Joe Nyamungoma, had no kind words for Munyanyi.
"That was the most absurd offer I have had in years. For lack of better word, I wouldn't want to call it a contract, it was just nothing but a sham," he fumed during a telephone interview.
"We made it clear to him (Munyanyi) that there were a number of grey areas that we needed him to sort out before we could travel, but he was being evasive.
"We wanted him to pay 50 percent deposit before departure, give us the air tickets three weeks before leaving and confirm our accommodation, while we were still here, but he was not forthcoming," he said.
He added that unlike rookies in show business who will do anything to take part in a gig in the United Kingdom, his artiste did not accept breadcrumbs from promoters.
"We will be more than happy to perform anywhere in the world, but we are not desperate.
"It is the casual approach that we took that has seen us in this mess," he said in apparent reference to a pending lawsuit.
Suluman has been dragged to the High Court for allegedly failing to pay back US$24 000 borrowed from a local travel agency to buy air tickets for the band's United Kingdom tour last year.
Traverze (Pvt) Ltd, through its lawyers Chikumbirike and Associates, recently filed a lawsuit claiming US$24 211 with interest from the band and its leader.
In the summons, Traverze claims Chimbetu - on behalf of the band - approached the travel agent seeking a credit facility wherein they requested to be advanced air tickets for their UK tour.
The parties allegedly agreed that the band would pay back as soon as they returned from Britain.
Suluman then provided a list of the band members to the managing director of Traverze and the company released US$24 211 for the purchase of the tickets.
The tickets were collected by Suluman after which they travelled abroad.
After the tour, the band members did not honour their debt.
The band has since filed an appearance to defend the case as well as a request for further particulars to the claim.
The band wants to know whether the loan was extended in cash or through bank transfer.
They also requested an explanation on whether Suluman or the band acknowledged receipt of the money and documentary proof thereof.
Orchestra Dendera Kings also seeks to know whether the request for cash was made verbally or in writing. The parties now await a pre-trial conference at the High Court.
Chibune and Associates are appearing on behalf of Orchestra Dendera Kings.