COVID-19: ZITF, other events postponed

by Editorial Team
2 minutes read

The government has put off the country’s premier trade show, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which was set for next month as part of a raft measures to deal with the deadly coronavirus pandemic. This was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday during a state of the nation address that he made at State House.

“Government has decided to postpone, curtail or cancel public events, gatherings and activities. In that respect, Government has postponed the ZITF, all national independence celebrations previously planned and pending international sporting fixtures until the threat of coronavirus recedes. All these activities will resume as soon as we are satisfied that our nation is no longer at risk,” said President Mnangagwa in the address.

Although Zimbabwe is yet to register a confirmed coronavirus case, government has also barred the gathering of people in excess of 100 as part of moves to curtail the spread of the virus.

“Gatherings of more than 100 people, including those for purposes of worship and weddings stand suspended for the next 60 days after which the suspension will be reviewed,” the President said.

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Other events that have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic include the inaugural Rwanda-Zimbabwe Trade and Investment conference which was set for 24 to 26 March 2019 in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. The organisers of the event issued a media statement to the effect that the event has been put off “with due regard to the safety and health of people considering the growing risk of spreading coronavirus.”

Minex Shamva Expo, a mining show which was set for 26 March 2019 in Shamva, has also been postponed in line with government’s ban on gatherings of over 100 people. Minex official, Patience Tsikira indicated in a Whatsapp message that the event has been postponed until a new date is advised at the end of April.

“Following recommendations the government to avoid public gatherings as a precautionary measure (against) Covid-19, we have to postpone (the) Minex Shamva (exhibition) to a date to be advised at the end of April,” she said.

The coronavirus has cost the exhibition industry and the global economy in order of billions due to the resultant event postponement and cancellations. According to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (the UFI) the pandemic has seen over 500 events being postponed or cancelled costing the industry and exhibitors an estimated US$26.3bn.


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