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COSBOTS CHAIRPERSON: Bakalanga Mahoko

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Revised constitution to top the COSBOTS AGM agenda

AGM slated for May 28

Copyrights Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for May 28th across the country with the revised constitution topping the agenda.

The AGM which is dubbed a hybrid event will be hosted in five different locations being Gaborone, Palapye, Francistown, and Maun simultaneously from 9am on May 28th. The proceedings will be streamed live for the hybrid location to join the main location in Gaborone.

“We wanted to include as many of our members as possible. We know that some are mostly unable to travel to the capital or to the physical venue and so with the live streaming they would be able to join proceedings at their nearest city. We anticipate that we will have 500 members attend the event across the country,” said COSBOTS chair, Bakalanga Mahoko.

Over the past years, members of COSBOTS have complained bitterly about royalty distributions and the overall running of the society. Media reports have been awash with complaints by members who claim to have received as little P2 as royalty payouts.

Things also reached boiling point when some members of COSBOTS stormed the COSBOTS buildings in protest, but Mahoko said most of the members concerns will be addressed at the AGM.

The main focus of the AGM will be a new and revised constitution. This comes after a call by members back in 2017 for the need for a new governing structure.

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“Back then the members reached an agreement that there should be a new and improved constitution. The problem was the constitution that we are using now has been in place since the organization started and a lot of things have changed since then,” Mahoko explained.

According to Mahoko some of the improvements and concerns raised by members about the organization was hindered by the aging constitution.

“Revision of the constitution will be one of the critical talking points of the AGM. There are a lot of amendments made to the current constitution, which members are expected to debate and hopefully adopt,” the COSBOTS chair explained.

One area of the constitution to be debated is the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) membership. Comprising of 228 member societies in 120 countries, CISAC represents more than 4 million creators from all geographic areas and all artistic repertoires; music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts.

Mahoko noted that at times Cosbots were castigated for receiving large sums of foreign royalty payouts but giving out less than a third to the locals whilst international markets received the larger share.

The new constitution according to Mahoko, will also address issues of serving terms for board members.
Speaking on the 80/20 quota set by Government Mahoko said members will start to realise the benefits after the June payout.

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