Carnival moved to October

HARARE - Organisers of the Harare International Carnival have pushed this year’s edition to October in response to requests from potential local and foreign participants.

The carnival, which was originally scheduled to run from September 14 to 17, will take place between October 6 to 9.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda said they came up with new dates in order to accommodate various interested participants.

“This new development was prompted by the majority of responses from both the local and foreign participants who cited prior commitments during the previously set dates but formally expressed their interest to participate at the festival,” said Chagonda.

He added that the postponement had also been prompted by the fact that Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi is currently busy campaigning for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary-General’s post.

“We also took note of our principals’ absence. Minister Mzembi is campaigning for the UNWTO position and ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke is also heavily involved in the campaign.

“We are getting resources from sponsors and partners who motivated us to change the dates. We also wanted to give ourselves time to mobilise resources and we are still engaging more sponsors. Remember this is also quite a harsh economic environment so the corporates are also struggling to pump out money. Some would have wanted to participate but they are failing to,” Chagonda said.

According to the ZTA spokesperson carnival groups from 16 countries have confirmed participation. The confirmed foreign groups are from countries that include Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“DRC is our partner country and we are going to have Rhumba Night just like last year. We will reveal the major DRC rhumba artiste once the contracts have been signed,” he said.

Last year Congolese music star Koffi Olomide was the headline act during Rhumba Night Explosion hosted by Longcheng Plaza.

In addition to the participation of various local festivals that include Intwasa, Kumakomoyo, Moringa and Gwanda, the carnival will also feature 35 groups in the junior carnival category.

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