Long time music promoter and private practising lawyer, Jai Banda has been implicated as one of the people who bought some of the multi-million music equipment stolen from French Culture Centre (FCC) last year.
Unknown thugs vandalized and looted FCC, which government bought from the Republic of France due to lack of security.
The hoodlums managed to walk away with various items including music equipment worth over K20 million and some office furniture.
However, almost a year the place was looted, information has been surfacing, which implicates Jai Banda and Word of Faith International Church founder, Pastor Timothy Khoviwa.
The issue came into vivid light over the weekend when one of the FCC former employees, Castro Mkunda revealed to Nyasa Times on Thursday before going outburst on Facebook, stating Banda is in possession of some of the stolen equipment.
“I was once called by Jai to go and help him operate some of the music equipment he had bought. When I got to his place, I found the FCC stolen 32-channel mixer, and he asked to teach him how to operate it; I said I can’t do that because it was stolen equipment. I even told him that equipment was stolen from French Culture Centre,” Mkunda told Nyasa Times.
Hours later after his revelation Mkunda went on Facebook, saying some of the FCC stolen equipment was being used by Jai Banda during Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) at FCC over the weekend.
“And it’s not only the K4 million worth 32-channel mixer; he also bought stage lights and some band instruments. I know everything. Some of the equipment was even sold to Pastor Khoviwa of Word of Faith. They bought that equipment at cheap prices but it is worth millions of Kwachas,” Mkunda explained.
Mkunda’s outburst did not go well with Banda who has threatened to sue him.
In an interview, Banda challenged Mkunda to provide evidence of his allegations while dismissing the claims as ‘bullshit’.
“That is bullshit, I cant do that, I have had equipments since 90s and I bought my equipment before the French Culture was vandalized. I don’t know what he is trying to do, if he is true with what he saying, why doesn’t he report me to police?,” wondered Banda.
Banda said he has receipts and sale documents from those who supplied him with the music equipment.
“I bought my equipment in South Africa at the time I got paid from the money laundering issue. I don’t want to go into legal battle with him (Mkunda) because I will achieve nothing, he cant give me anything for damages. But the truth is that I have nothing to do with such issues. I have been in music business for long time and as a lawyer myself, I cant buy stolen goods knowing the implications.
“If he talks about the mixer and the lights, those are from South Africa. What is the problem with him? Zamajelasi basi (its out of jealous). I make millions in one case, I have a son stuyidng abroad you are telling me that i can fail to buy that equipment, no. I have been having band equipments since the time of Makasu,” Banda argued.
During this year’s BAF, artists including Mali’s Afro-pop, Salif Keita used some of Jai Banda’s Entertainers Promotion equipment, which left a lot of performers including Keita disappointed as the owners could not know how to set-it up late alone use it.
Government has earmarked K200 million for the renovation of the dilapidated FCC thus including replacement of stolen and vandalized furniture and the music equipment.
FCC over the weekend opened its door to host BAF 2012 headlined by Keita.