A UK based Zimbabwean woman who tragically lost her husband nine years ago is finding herself in more heartbreak. Yvonne Katsande claims prominent music promoters Joab Mugugu and Philimon Wakabikwa from Phab Entertainment conned her out of her hard-earned £11 500.

Philimon Wakabikwa and Joab Mugugu

In an exclusive interview with Nehanda Radio, Katsande claims she gave Mugugu and registered nurse Wakabikwa a total of £11 500 to help them fund a series of concerts involving various artists from Zimbabwe in the UK but both men are now refusing to pay her back.

“I am an unfortunate victim of Joab Mugugu and Philimon Wakabikwa. They approached me to financially back one of their recent music promotion ventures. They were desperate as they had failed to raise money for both flights and visas.

“They pleaded with me stating they will pay me back regardless of the outcome of the show. Initially I was reluctant, but following the incessant pleading from both men, I agreed. Between the two of them they scammed me 11 500 pounds,” Katsande told Nehanda Radio as she broke into tears.

Some of the shows that were on the verge of collapse before Katsande bailed out the promoters included Live in Concert (July 2019) involving Alick Macheso, Tocky Vibes, Seh Calaz and Selmor Mtukudzi. The first show in March,  including Suluman Chimbetu, was rescheduled to the July one.

Other shows Katsande put money into included Oliver Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso in 2017. Next was Thomas Mapfumo and Alick Macheso (Macheso later pulled out). The next show that went pear shaped involved Dan Tshanda from South Africa. He was only paid after Katsande helped out.

“Joab and Phil want the world to see them as upstanding citizens yet all they are is a couple of con men. They appealed to my good nature and my generosity. It’s now clear to me they had no intention to give me my money back,” Katsande fumed.

“I am a hardworking widow as you know. To think they have unashamedly taken money from my children’s mouth, is both disgusting and sickening. I want to remind them that Exodus 22:22 says don’t take advantage of the widows and the fatherless,” the mother of two said.

“The rhetoric in our community is that Zimbabweans do not support their own. I don’t think it is true, Zimbabweans do support each other.

“More often than not one will go out of their way to support a Zimbabwean venture then you learn the hard way after being scammed. Let my encounter with these two men be a cautionary tale to anyone who will have future dealings with these two conmen,” Katsande told Nehanda Radio.

Contacted for their response, Phab Entertainment through Wakabikwa claimed; “We have had lots of dealings with Yvonne on a business note and are aware of the issues she’s raising. She’s been saying this to everyone willing to listen out there and even added us into a Whatsapp group which she created with her friends for the purpose of bullying us into submission.

“She has been threatening us with “Exposure “ as she calls it for a long time. She’s since removed us from her Whatsapp group. The truth of the matter is we equally have a dispute with Yvonne same as she has her own against us. We have been victimised in the past with our names being tarnished to suit other agendas with Yvonne’s involvement as well.

“Unfortunately we are not controversy seeking people and always maintain a low profile unless we doing events. We have allowed her to carry on doing what she has been doing so far, but have been very clear with her that we will not engage in those public spats with her,” Wakabikwa said.