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Mnangagwa jets in for ZITF

by Staff reporter
26 Apr 2019 at 07:01hrs | Views
ALL is set for the official opening of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) today with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri  Museveni, expected to arrive in Bulawayo this morning to preside over the event and interact with exhibitors.

Vice Presidents, Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi are already in the city and yesterday conducted a tour of exhibition stands and participated in key investment meetings sharing the stage with industry and commerce executives.

Cabinet ministers and their deputies and representatives from the diplomatic community, among other distinguished guests, have also arrived and have been sharing their insights at different platforms across the city.  

Indications are that official proceedings would begin earlier than during previous years with delegates expected to be seated at the ZITF main arena by 12 noon. Traditionally the official opening is preceded by a tour of stands by the President and the guest of honour.

A total of 532 local direct exhibitors and 16 foreign countries are participating while all available exhibition space has, for the first time in 60 years, been sold out, showing strong desire to do business in Zimbabwe under the new dispensation.  

Dr Chiwenga and Mohadi conducted separate tours of stands where they had lengthy interactions with exhibitors.

Mohadi was accompanied by his wife, Mai Mohadi, Industry and Commerce Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of State in his Office, Davis Marapira and his permanent secretary, Reverend Paul Damasane. His first stop was at the Ministry of Health and Child Care where he was briefed about the services offered before moving to the Health Service Board where he asked why the desk was manned by gentlemen only, as if there were no ladies, drawing laughter from the crowd around him.

Mohadi then moved to the Econet stand where officials took him on a tour of the big stand showcasing their services. He was particularly interested in the EcoFarmer service and asked quite a number of questions.

Mohadi also toured the Zanu-PF Hall 5 and visited all party departments exhibiting there. He also had a brief explanation from Zanu-PF Youth League national deputy secretary, Lewis Matutu, about the youth league programmes. The VP marvelled at the stand showcasing pictures of the Presidium and remarked, "It's nice, very nice."

Mohadi also visited the Command Agriculture stand where he was taken through its processes and growth over the year as well as the supporting stakeholders who are also exhibiting. He proceeded to the Agricultural Show Society where he saw the few cattle being showcased before going to Hall 2A where small to medium enterprises are exhibiting.

Mohadi and his delegation made a stop at the Belarus Embassy where he was welcomed Ambassador Alexander Sidoruk before proceeding to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development stand.

He concluded his tour at the Office of the President and Cabinet stand where he was welcomed by Ambassador Mary Mubi who explained their thrust of ease of doing business and drive towards Vision 2030. In an interview after the tour, Mohadi said he was optimistic that this year's attendance would result in more business linkages.

"My impression is that everything is good and is going on well. It seems as if this year's trade fair has been oversubscribed. Everybody else is very happy.  I'm sure they are going to clinch some business deals at the end of the trade fair. It has been a very good show," said VP Mohadi.

"I'm just walking out of OPC and they have been taking me through steps on ease of doing business, one stop, ZIDA and others. It is quite relevant because we are going to be working on improving the way we do business and the time it takes for business to be registered and start business, so it's quite relevant."

The VP said the "Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra" was beginning to yield results hence the appearance of states that had long been absent such as the United States and Belarus.  

Chiwenga conducted his tour of exhibition stands at mid-day and made stops at NetOne, Cassava Smartech, United Refineries, and Maka, which deals with irrigation equipment before proceeding to the Zanu-PF Hall where he visited several party departments showcasing in Hall 5. He also toured the Command Agriculture stand and was briefed on the model and also met some of the supporting stakeholders.

At the SeedCo stand, VP Chiwenga asked if they had seeds for kale, the popular leafy vegetables and the hosts seemed not to have them on display.

From Command Agriculture VP Chiwenga stopped at the Lupane State University and Harare Institute of Technology where he was welcomed by its Vice Chancellor, Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe.

He concluded his tour at the Office of the President and Cabinet Stand (OPC) where he was taken through the work being undertaken by department.

Source - the herald

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