Zimbabwe’s premier mining exhibition Mine Entra kicked off on a bad note as power outages hit the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in a move that could send wrong signals to foreign investors.
The outages started around 9am affecting the opening day of the exhibition.
Several exhibitors were taken by surprise as their electronic displays went blank.
The blackout caused the opening of the mining conference to be delayed for about two hours.
Contacted for comment, ZITF chairman Bekithemba Nkomo said: “We are sorry for the delays as we are experiencing challenges with electricity.
“It has caused many things to go wrong.
“However, together with the ZITF general manager (Daniel Chigaru) we will not sit throughout the conference as we have to make sure this is sorted out.”
The event only resumed shortly after mid-day after a generator had been activated.
“We have buyers and exhibitors from several countries that were keen on clinching deals with us.
“However, with power outages, it’s difficult for us to convince them to invest in the country” said one exhibitor.
This year’s edition of the ZITF held in April was also disrupted by intermittent power outages, thus sending wrong signals to would-be investors.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira could not be reached for comment, but sources said yesterday’s power cut was part of load-shedding.