THE annual Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) initially scheduled for September 26 to 29 at its ceremonial venue, Harare Gardens, has been deferred to a later date due to a cholera outbreak which has rocked parts of Harare and other places around the country.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care, has declared the cholera and typhoid outbreak a state of emergency, with the police issuing a blanket ban on all public gatherings for the next 10 days as officials seek ways to contain the spread of the waterborne disease.
Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association (ZIBFA) interim chairperson Jasper Maenzanise said they shall stand guided by further developments and announcements by the responsible authorities who are monitoring and evaluating the situation.
“We wish to advise that due to health considerations and the subsequent hold placed on all public gatherings, the 2018 Book Fair Indaba and Exhibition has been deferred until further notice,” he said.
Similarly, organisers of the Zimbabwe Mbira Festival have also been forced to postpone their two-day festival that was slated for September 21 and 22 in the capital.
The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, particularly Harare, has claimed at least 28 lives, with over 5 000 hospitalised, particularly in Glen View and Budiriro high-density suburbs.
The disease has also spread to several other provinces.