Ditto sues Multi-Choice Tanzania for Sh6 billion

Lameck Ditto (centre) at the high court in Dar es Salaam on November 23, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The musician complained to the company regarding the use of his song in their commercials during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign.

Dar es Salaam. Lameck Ditto, a Bongo Flava musician, has filed a case at the High Court in Dar es Salaam seeking Sh6 billion in compensation from MultiChoice Tanzania for allegedly using his song for commercial purposes without his consent.

Ditto has further demanded that MultiChoice pay him Sh200 million in general damages and 25 percent interest starting on the day he filed the claim.

Ditto presented nine exhibits in the case, a process that took six hours in front of Judge Hamidu Mwanga.

The musician complained to the company regarding the use of his song in their commercials during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign.

In his evidence, led by his lawyer, Ms. Elizabeth Mlemeta, Ditto claimed that MultiChoice made him miss the opportunity to benefit from his work through the song.

"When they used it, and I was supposed to use it in the special campaign dubbed Kibanda Umiza of the Betika Company, due to the use of the song by MultiChoice Tanzania, Betika declined to use it,” said Ditto.

Among the evidence he submitted to prove his claim that he is the owner of the song is an email communication that he claimed was sent to him by Mr. Emmilian Mallya, who was the organiser of the festival known as Tamasha la Urithi (Heritage Festival), on which he showed his participation in the event.

"Mr. Judge, this is my song, and I am the owner of the copyright. I composed the first one and sang it myself. I was asked to compose the second one (a remix) that was sung by various artists, including me," he said.

Previously, the lawyer representing MultiChoice, Mr. Mlano Mlekano, claimed that they used the song Nchi Yangu, but not the one complained about by the claimant.

Ditto also presented a flash disc with sound (audio) and videos of the ads he is complaining about and the song that he claims to be the legal owner of the copyright.

Before the Court received the exhibit, MultiChoice Tanzania Limited lawyer, Mr. Mlekano, questioned the legality of the videos.

However, Mr. Ditto's lawyer claimed that the videos were not fabricated, and if the links to those advertisements have not been deleted, he asked the court to look them up on Google.

Judge Mwanga agreed to the request, and the video was played. The video showed the former Simba and Yanga player, Mr. Akida Makunda, promoting AFCON while there were DSTV broadcasts, as the song Nchi Yangu played in the background.

Some of the other exhibits presented to the court were copies of communication through WhatsApp and e-mail between him and the organiser of the Urithi Festival.