TURNOUT at this year’s Harare Agricultural Show, which opened its doors to the general public on Friday, has been pathetically low over the past two days.
REPORT BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
About 4 600 people attended the show yesterday, up from 1 495 the previous day.
However, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) said it expected more activity and bigger attendance as the week progressed.
ZAS spokesperson, Heather Ma-dombwe said there were several major highlights including fireworks, the usual Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) displays and drum majorettes.
There were 300 cattle entries this year, which was a slight increase from last year’s 269.
“We have also increased days for fireworks, which are an old- time favourite for the whole family,” said Madombwe. “Fireworks will start from the 24th [yesterday] right up to the end of the show.”
Madombwe dispelled speculation that the event would be overshadowed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls which is running concurrently with the show.
“It is actually a great and amazing thing to be holding this show alongside UNWTO,” she said. “These major events can actually feed off each other, whereby someone in Victoria Falls might actually come down here for the show and vice-versa.”
She said ZAS had upgraded their security by installing additional Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) around the showgrounds.
Following the disappearance of three-year-old Gift Matapure in 2011, many concerned parents had asked for tighter security arrangements.
“We also have EcoCash points dotted around the grounds; all this was done in a bid to discourage people from moving around with large sums of money, which attracts unruly elements,” she said.
The show, which runs from August 23 to 31 under the theme Environmental, Entrepreneurial, and Educational, is set to be graced by several local artists, among them Peter Moyo, Winky D, Alick Macheso and Sulumani Chimbetu.
Other musicians billed to perform at the show are Sandra Ndebele, comedian-cum-musician Kapfupi, Tryson Chimbetu, Guspy Warrior and Lady Squanda.
Popular artists Jah Prayzah, Dazha D and Sniper will bring the curtain down on Saturday.