TWO tourism companies — Ubuntu beAfrica and Heritage Steam Safaris are at loggerheads over the highly-anticipated “Lost train party” set to be held tomorrow night (Saturday) in Harare.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Ubuntu beAfrica organised the party to be held at a secret location 60km outside Harare, with revellers travelling by a locomotive train, as they party on wheels.
However, Heritage Steam Safaris, who came up with the concept and hosted a similar party and theme of Lost train party in Bulawayo in June has blasted Ubuntu beAfrica for stealing their brand and concept.
Heritage Steam Safaris chief executive officer, Will Yalabi yesterday said Ubuntu beAfrica should not go ahead with their event unless they change the name of the party, which was their intellectual property.
“The Lost train party is our brainchild and for someone to use it is not fair, that name and the party concept identifies with our brand, people have been calling us for bookings, yet we have nothing to do with it,” he said.
“We are afraid if the party flops everyone will blame us again considering we didn’t do well at the Bulawayo event, it will paint a bad image to our stakeholders.
“We approached them (Ubuntu beAfrica) in peace, but they told us to do whatever we wanted.”
Heritage Steam Safari’s public relations manager, Mishnah Mish reiterated that the concept was theirs.
“The concept is made in Bulawayo, by Bulawayo for Bulawayo and what they are doing is abusing the notion,” he said.
“Bulawayo is a cultural destination and if we wanted to take it to Harare we could have named it differently.”
One of the organisers from Ubuntu beAfrica Tafadzwa Dube hit back refuting the allegations.
“This concept is not theirs, yes they hosted a party in Bulawayo, but it’s different and we are doing it in Harare,” he said.
“These guys (Heritage Stream Safaris) approached us at one point for a merger, which we declined and now they are accusing us of stealing their concept, which is not right, they are just hurt.”