ZIBF tackles book piracy

HARARE - Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) says it is facilitating the reform of the local book industry in a bid to combat rampant book piracy.

Chairman of the ZIBF executive board Musaemura Zimunya made the remarks during a press conference on Wednesday to announce their state of preparedness for this year’s event that will take place in Harare from July 28 to August 2.

“Since 2013, ZIBF is proud to be playing its part in facilitating the reorganisation of the industry and galvanising efforts to combat this scourge (book piracy) on several fronts,” said Zimunya, a veteran poet and university lecturer.

“One of those is through programmes promoting awareness of the crime of violation of intellectual property and organised book piracy and engaging the police, the ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Education, the courts, Harare Metropolitan and local government police in order to attack the scourge from multiple angles. “

Zimunya added that the economic meltdown that hit the country gave rise to a “mafia economy run by intellectual property barons and cynical book thieves.

This has caused enormous havoc upon sales of authentic books and depressed the whole book value chain”.

The renowned poet, who doubles up as the chairman of the Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA), said the theme of ZIBF 2014 — Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems in Africa — was arrived at after wide consultations among stakeholders.

Zimunya added that the theme, which is consistent with the current discourse on the creative economy, grew out of the desire to promote African languages, literatures and art forms as creative media and repositories of knowledge systems.

The ZIBF boss emphasised the need to embrace marginalised languages of Zimbabwe which have the potential to transform our understanding of Zimbabwe’s national identity and the importance of tolerance of ethnic diversity.

The six-day ZIBF, whose major funding partners are the Culture Fund in partnership with the European Union, the British Council, Kopinor and Norcode as well as Hivos, will run the usual array of programmes like the Indaba Workshop, the Live Literature Centre, Children’s Reading Tent, the Digital Zone as well as the newly-created Meet the Author sessions.

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