Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), has shifted this year’s edition of the Harare International Carnival from September 14 to October 6 to allow stakeholders to focus on pushing Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi’s bid for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary-general post.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ZTA spokesperson, Sugar Chagonda, yesterday confirmed the developments.
“We had initially set September 14 to 17 as the dates of this year’s fourth edition of the Harare International Carnival, but after discussions with some of our stakeholders and partners, new dates have been set in line with our principal leadership’s commitments,” he said.
Chagonda said ZTA chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke, was busy with the campaign as well as some of the authority’s stakeholders.
Mzembi, who is gunning for the post which falls vacant next year, has already received a shot in the arm in his campaign following the creation of a website by the Ministry of Communication and Technology and Courier Services to run his campaign online.
Chagonda said they were confident the change in dates would allow them adequate time to prepare for a resounding successful festival.
“We might have set October 6 as the official date that will see the carnival bursting into life but it must, however, be noted that there will be a galore of entertainment as a series of pre-events ahead of the main festival in collaboration with various private players who are not strangers to the entertainment industry,” he said.
Chagonda said about 60 groups had already registered to participate in the carnival and the closing date is August 31.
He said the carnival, which was aimed at advancing the country’s arts, culture and heritage as well as uniting people has the potential to boost the economy if more stakeholders come on board.
About 15 countries including Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, Zambia and South Africa had so far confirmed their participation.