THE government will introduce higher parking fees and shuttle services during this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair to discourage motorists from driving to the venue of the premier exhibition.

The move was revealed by Industry and Commerce permanent secretary, Thomas Utete Wushe, when he teased diplomats to prepare to walk to and around the ZITF exhibition centre during the European Union Private Sector Dialogue Seminar in Harare this week.

He said the move was part of the government’s initiative to reduce the carbon footprint during the country’s premier exhibition.

The exhibition will run from April 23 to 27 at the ZITF Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo.

In an interview with NewsDay, Wushe said the move was motivated by government's desire to promote the fight against climate change.

“We do not want to use too much driving. We are going to be promoting the use of shuttle services so that people shuttle to and from hotels,” he said.

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“That will help in two ways. One, it would relieve our parking demand. And number two; it will reduce the carbon footprint at the ZITF venue.

“The other thing is we are going to be encouraging people to walk within the show grounds. Very few vehicles will be allowed to drive into the exhibition area so that people walk. So, if you go there, you can enjoy the show.”

He said ZITF organisers working with government officials including provincial leadership were working on parking charges during the showcase.

“So, the nature of this problem is that parking will be a challenge. But everything will be determined by the provincial government.

“What we want to do is to discourage people from driving into the venue leading to shortages of parking. We want people to use shuttles or even walk to the venue,” he said.

According to the organisers, the 64th edition of ZITF is expected to proffer a kaleidoscope of opportunities for the driving force behind innovation, job creation and sustainable development.

The exhibition will run under the theme: Innovation the Catalyst to Industrialisation and Trade.