PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will officially open this year’s edition of the Harare Agricultural Show, his spokesperson George Charamba confirmed yesterday.
REPORT BY WONAI MASVINGISE/TARISAI MANDIZHA
“President (Robert) Mugabe is officially opening the show this Friday,” Charamba said.
Earlier on, organisers of the annual agricultural showcase had told NewsDay that the President’s Office had not yet furnished them with details of who was earmarked for the official opening.
Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) spokesperson Heather Madombwe said they were still waiting for the President’s Office to furnish them with details of the official guest.
“What I know at the moment is that formal communication has not yet been sent, but when the worst comes to the worst, you can find out from the chief of protocol (in the President’s Office),” said Madombwe.
The show, which started last Friday, ends on Saturday.
Normally, Mugabe or other heads of state from around Africa are invited to officiate at the show.
Last year, Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane was the official guest.
Madombwe also revealed that this year’s show had registered a decline in the number of exhibitors from 785 recorded last year to 765 this year.
She attributed the decrease to a counter attraction caused by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly which is currently running in Victoria Falls.
“We have 765 exhibitors for this year as we are running concurrently with the UNWTO general assembly, so some companies can’t exhibit twice,” Madombwe said.
“The turn-up has been very good and we are happy with the way we have initiated it so far, and as of today any children who are wearing school uniforms will get into the grounds for free.”
Madombwe also revealed that they had introduced a new ticketing system to counter fake tickets and increased security personnel as well as CCTV to boost their security system.
The heightened security comes after a three-year-old boy, Given Matapure, went missing at the showgrounds in 2011 only to be found dead many months later.