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Mujuru to officially launch township tourism

ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) has  embarked on a project that will result in the formation of township tourism, emulating the remarkable development it has brought to the once shabby Soweto township of South Africa.

Report By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni

Vice-President Joice Mujuru is next week (October 20) expected to officially launch township tourism at a procession that will start at Stoddard Hall in Mbare and end at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield, where the celebrations will be held.

Former liberation fighters who still live in Highfield, ZTA, stakeholders and buyers, renowned musicians as well as the general public, are all expected to attend. Vintage cars will be on display at this event.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Tuesday, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the idea of starting community tourism was derived from the Soweto community.

“We went to Soweto, to see how they conduct township tourism. It’s doing quite well and many tourists are now going to Soweto, and we want this to happen in Highfield, given its history in terms of revolutionary movement,” Kaseke said. “We are planning to convert Highfield’s CJ Hall as well as President Robert Mugabe and the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s former houses into museums.”

He said Mujuru, who will be moving in a top-of-the-range vintage vehicle, is expected to visit and invite a number of prominent figures in Highfield, among which include the first Tourism minister Victoria Chitepo as part of the Township Tourism 2012 launch.

“We want people to come in their numbers; the police will be there to ensure that peace and order prevails. During the procession, Mai Mujuru will visit homes of the invited well-known figures and invite them to join in launch. Mrs Chitepo, wife to the late Zanu chairman will also play a pivotal role during this exercise,” he said.

There will be a musical show  to mark the occasion at Gwanzura Stadium where famous musicians such as Oliver Mutukudzi, Iyasa, Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, the Charambas as well as Mbira Dze Nharira, are billed to perform. Other musicians to perform include Winky D and Mbare Chimurenga Choir. A rhumba outfit from DRC is also expected to add to the thrills.

Speaking on the same occasion, ZTA executive director for destinations and marketing division, Tessa Chikaponya indicated that there had been a significant upsurge in the number of local and foreign exhibitors, buyers as well as stands compared to last year.

“The total number of exhibitors this year has reached 1 200. It has grown by 61% from last year’s figures. Foreign stands have also risen from 24 (last year) to 85 this year,” she said.

She said the buyers, who came from various countries including Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Brazil, Spain and US, would tour the country before and after the slated Sanganai dates.
“Sanganai/Hlanganani — World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair will run for four days, from October 18-21 and no tours will be conducted during this period,” she said.

Chikaponya said Brazil’s CVC — one of the biggest buyers — were also expected to attend the fair.

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