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Zimbabwean president Mnangagwa pledges
commitment to regional integration       

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday said that Zimbabwe remained committed to regional integration and urged participants at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) to tap into the business opportunities available in the country.

In a welcome message to the participants, Mnangagwa said ZITF remained an important platform for the country to promote trade and investment.

“Zimbabwe remains committed to regional integration under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union, among other bilateral and regional trading arrangements,” he said.

He urged industry and commerce to remain resolute and expand operations while exploring export opportunities in the region and beyond.

The trade fair, which began Tuesday and ends Saturday, is running under the theme “Sustainable Industrial Development: Inclusive-Competitive-Collaborative”.

Chinese companies, together with others from Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Zambia, are exhibiting at the fair.

“Attracting both domestic and foreign investments, mobilizing funding for industrial development, supporting the agriculture and mining sectors, and infrastructure development, are key priority areas of focus expected to help attain sustained economic growth and development,” Mnangagwa said.

ZITF remains one of the biggest trade fairs in Africa south of the Sahara.



Zimbabwe largest cultural festival runs next week

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s annual premier arts and culture festival, the 2018 Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) begins next week in the capital Harare with a variety of performances lined up for the week-long event.

HIFA founder and artistic director Emmanuel Bagorro told a press conference that over 200 artists from across the globe with perform at the arts and cultural jamboree which is running under the theme: “We count.”

He said apart from Africa, artists in various genres will come from such countries as the United States, the Netherlands and Israel.

“We want our people to revel and immerse themselves during the six days of HIFA in the highest quality music, theater, dance, song, visual arts, crafts and design,” Bagorro said.

He said the festival will be a celebration of Zimbabwe’s rich and diverse arts and culture.

“Saturday the 5th of May will be an incredible, intense day of programming. There is nowhere in the continent where you can find such kind of intense artistic opportunity. It is the most intense possibility for artistic experience,” Bagorro said.

Maria Wilson, the executive director, told Xinhua that an arts and performance group from China will perform on the last day of the festival on May 6.

“It will be a fantastic family show by the Chinese group. There will be lots of acrobatics, dancing and music. The exchange of Chinese artistic interface will be so important,” she said.

She added that there will be more than 80 individual shows within the festival which she said will help market the country as “open for business, investment and artists.”

“This is one of the biggest chances for us to say to the world: look at us, look at Zimbabwe, look at our people, at our own artists,” she said.

HIFA is a 6-day annual festival and workshop program that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival program of theater, dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts.

Since its inception in 1999, the festival has received recognition for its support of arts and culture in Zimbabwe and is seen as a major contributor to development in this area. HIFA is now the largest cultural event in Zimbabwe and among the eight major festivals in Africa.

This year’s HIFA is running for the 18th year after having taken a break in 2016.


SADC says Zimbabwe ready to hold credible elections

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said Saturday Zimbabwe is ready to conduct a credible election due to the conducive political and legislative environment in place, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on its website Saturday.

Zimbabwe is due to hold elections in July, which President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said will be free and fair.

“Politically, the environment is conducive, the legislative environment is also conducive, pointing to a readiness for elections and also the reform processes which are ongoing,” the newspaper quoted visiting SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax as saying soon after paying a courtesy call on Mnangagwa Friday.

The Zimbabwe government, through Parliament, is spearheading amendments to the Electoral Act as part of reforms to improve the electoral environment.

Tax urged peaceful elections in the country.

The SADC pre-election observer team was in the country in March while a number of missions including those from Europe and the United States have also visited the country to assess the pre-election environment.

Mnangagwa is yet to proclaim the election date and main political parties are still to launch their election manifestos.

The parties are currently working on candidate selection.


Zimbabwean police warns political parties
against violence as nation gears for polls

HARARE Zimbabwe  (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean police on Monday urged political parties to desist from engaging in political violence as the nation gears up for elections scheduled for mid-year.

Political activity has increased in the country as political parties step up preparations for the polls.

“Any form of violence, threats or harassment of voters or rival contenders will certainly be dealt with in terms of the country’s law,” said senior assistant commissioner Erasmus Makodza.

He said police had put in place adequate security provisions to ensure primary and harmonized elections are held in a peaceful environment.

He said police would descend hard on those who engage in any intimidatory practices including preventing any candidate or political party from campaigning and forcing people to attend political events.

He warned that perpetrators of politically motivated violence could be sentenced up to a maximum period of 10 years in jail.

Zimbabwe’s previous elections have been marred by political violence and President Emmerson Mnangagwa has emphasized the need for the nation to uphold peace and avoid violence to ensure the country holds free and credible elections.


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