ALTHOUGH the cholera outbreak that hit parts of the country last month — claiming over 50 lives in its wake — has been on the wane, Delta Beverages have decided to play it safe by indefinitely postponing the National Braai Fest that had been scheduled for October 27 at Old Hararians Sports Club.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Delta Beverages has been running the festival through their Castle Lager brand since 2016.
The company’s corporate affairs executive Patricia Murambinda told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that given the large crowds that the beer and meat fete has always attracted, they could not afford to put people’s lives at risk.
“The Castle Lager National Braai Day event, which was scheduled for Saturday the 27th of October 2018, has been postponed to a date to be advised due to the state of emergency that has been declared in relation to cholera. The Castle Lager National Braai Day attracts huge crowds and in order to minimise risk of contamination, the event had to be postponed,” she said.
The festival was also set to be held at a time when prices of basic commodities, including meat and cooking oil, had shot through the roof, with the said products asking for as much as $14 per kilogramme and $10 for a two-litre bottle of cooking oil.
Production of soft drinks and liquor has dipped in the wake of a serious foreign currency crunch in the country.
Delta Corporation chairperson, Canaan Dube, in a recent statement accompanying the company’s financial results, said beverages had significant import requirements and foreign currency shortages were hampering the company.
“Notwithstanding our best efforts, regrettably, there were supply gaps occasioned by shortages of raw materials and services, as foreign remittances became increasingly difficult during the year,” he said.
The fest, considered as Zimbabwe’s biggest braai, has become an annual event with the inaugural edition in 2016, setting a record where over 12 000kg of meat was consumed in one day.
Proceeds from the event, which is part of Delta Beverage’s corporate social responsibility programme, are channelled to charity initiatives.
Meanwhile, the company has also postponed the annual Chibuku Road to Fame competition finals that were initially scheduled for September 29 at the Glamis Arena in Harare.