The 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) reaches its climax today with the official opening by President Robert Mugabe this afternoon.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/NQOBILE BHEBHE
The government is running a Mugabe exhibition at the showcase, which some say has created a sideshow.
Today also marks the first day the fair — which ends tomorrow — would be open to members of the public after the first three exclusive business days.
Mugabe will open the fair after Congolese President Sasou Denis Nguesso pulled out at the last minute.
This year’s fair, dominated by Chinese and South African companies, has been low key.
It could turn out to be a Mugabe show after the Media, Information and Broadcasting Services ministry put up an exhibition of the 90-year-old leader at its stand.
Top government officials, including ministers, were spotted making a beeline to the stand yesterday.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo said the exhibition would inspire youths to follow in Mugabe’s footseps.
“This is not just an exhibition of the President,” he said. “It is an exhibition of iconic moments of the President, which is why we are calling them Gushungo Moments.
“Now, here we are at ZITF where our nation is displaying to the larger world its resources, talent and the opportunities of its economy to attract investment under a very far-reaching policy programme, ZimAsset, and this with the leadership of the President and now focusing more on creative cutting-edge ideas that can take us to the kind of new heights that everybody believes our economy should get to with the understanding this requires the full length and breadth of the country to be innovative, particularly young people, you professionals,” he said.
Still reeling under de-industrialisation and ravages of economic meltdown, renowned Bulawayo firms are not exhibiting at the Trade Fair.