Zimbabwe: Carnival Lives Up to Billing

Despite high temperatures that hit the city on Saturday afternoon, thousands of people thronged the streets in the city centre for Harare International Carnival street party.

The carnival that brought thrills excitement and competition saw different groups showcasing their cultures bringing business to a standstill in the capital.

The carnival saw 24 different countries, more than 20 corperates, schools and culture groups coming together to exhibit their cultures and works.

Countries that participated include Zambia, Malawi, DRC, South Africa, Swaziland, Brazil, and India.

The countries and groups showcased their cultures through dancing, music and other acts with most making memorable performances. Momo Kings of Brazil brought their acts to the streets while Indian Preeti also gave outstanding performances.

Though some could not come to terms with some groups with cultural costumes coming too close to nudity, the cultural experience was nice.

Different musicians including Jah Prayzah, Mawungira eNharira and Fungisai Zvakavapano participated in the street march leaving merrymakers asking for more.

The participants were rates and Brazil won the carnival contest for this year.

Other local groups including musician-cum-dancer Sandra Ndebele, traditional group dance Dzikwa, among others went home smiling after winning top spots at the event.

Streets like Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela had thousands of people enjoying the event that brings cultural integration and entertainment.

Hordes of people gathered at the Africa Unit Square where the final performances were being judged to come up with the best performers of this year.

People broke barricades at Parliament building to get closer to the performers and police officers had to use their force to restrain merrymakers.

The clash however came to an end after the intervention of the deputy minister of tourism Anastancia Ndlovu who fumed against the officer.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Mzembi expressed his satisfaction saying this year’s carnival has managed to attract more than seven million people who matched the street in celebration of this event.

“This year’s carnival has outgrown our logistics, as you can see we need to plan for a bigger hosting as this space is small and we have surpassed last year , carnival is measured in numbers and this year we have more than seven million and this shows that we have managed to connect with people,” said Mzembi

The day was filled with different activities as the people were enjoying themselves at different entertainment arenas erected around the city.

Meanwhile, as the capital was awash with different Carnival events, LongCheng Plaza was a hive of activity on Thursday Night as several rhumba musicians performed.

With the main attractions being Congolese musician Koffi Olomide and Zimbabwean sungura king Alick Macheso merry makers were left asking for more as several musicians performed well at the event.

Parking space was a nightmare at the mall with some parking their vehicles about 100 meters away from the venue.

Entry to the event was free as thousands came to enjoy music from different artistes.

Koffi went on stage around 9pm in the evening and the musician performed his hit songs much to the delight of the fans.

Though technical glitches marred first 10 minutes of his act, the musician managed to restore the carnival mood that has gripped the city last week with good performance.

He was joined on stage by Macheso, Bev, Lady Storm and some merrymakers towards the end of his act.

Former Macheso chanter Jonasi Kasamba who is from Congo Brazavile also joined the two musicians on stage.

“Let me welcome my brother here he is a great musician,” he said much to the delight of the merrymakers.

However, some of the musicians and dancers likes of Diamond Musica and controversial dancer Beverly Sibanda failed to raise the bar high, people waited patiently for Macheso to come.

Macheso came on stage belting most of his hit songs much to the delight of the fans.

The musician proved why he is the “King of Sungura” in the country.

He sampled songs from his forthcoming album leaving fans convinced that he will save the genre’s waning fortunes.

Dancehall musician Killer T was at the event but could not make it to the stage.

He took the opportunity to meet his fans and had social interaction with them.

Source: allafrica

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Elephant poaching, tourism and politics in Tanzania

TANZANIA (eTN) – Ahead of Tanzania’s general election in late October, opposition presidential hopeful, Edward Lowassa, has vowed to end poaching of elephants and trade in blood ivory.

Mr. Lowassa, who is vying for the Tanzania presidential post under the ticket of the leading opposition Chadema party, had vowed to see elephant poaching and illegal trade in blood ivory get thrown into the archives when elected to the top post, to lead this African wildlife-rich nation.

He blamed the current government under the ruling CCM party for hibernating corrupt elements known to carry out poaching of elephants and trade in blood ivory, and also the illegal trade of live animals.

The ardent politician and former Tanzanian Prime Minister told his supporters and hundreds of thousands of excited voters that poaching of elephants and destruction of forests were areas his new government will be committed to ending.

He said during his election campaign in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam that his new government will ensure a sustainable conservation practice to protect Tanzania’s forests and wildlife parks, which constitutes about 300,000 square kilometers of nature-protected land.

Mr. Lowassa told the biggest crowd of enthusiasts every observed that he was committed to attract tourists and travel trade investments to establish hotels and tourist accommodation facilities in Tanzania as a plan to attract 2 million tourists during the next 5 years against the 1.2 million tourists recorded this year.

In line with the establishment of premium tourist hotels and lodges, the Tanzania’s presidential hopeful said his new government will strive to train more local graduates in the hospitality industry as a means to raise productivity in tourism.

He accused the CCM government for embracing corruption which had made Tanzania lose its elephants at a rocket speed. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), also known as the World Wildlife Fund in the US and Canada, along with the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Save the Elephant, reported that around 99,000 to 100,000 elephants were gunned down between 2005 to 2015 inside Tanzania’s protected and unprotected areas.

The opposition Chadema party had voiced its concern in the Tanzanian parliament, accusing the government of Tanzania over laxity, corruption, and inefficiency among officials in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism which led to escalating poaching of elephants and poor performance in the tourism industry.

The Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Peter Msigwa, from the liberal opposition Chadema party, has been vocal on a poaching spree, looking to see the CCM government end elephant slaughtering and illegal exportation of live animals.

He once provided data showing the gravity of the poaching of elephants, trade in blood ivory, and export of live animals from this country to the Middle East, China, Vietnam, Singapore, and other South Asian states.

Mr. Msigwa claimed that all indications point to the fact that poaching is now beyond the control of the Tanzania government under CCM’s corrupt policies.

Mr. Lowassa also promised to establish a viable airline to take over from the ailing Air Tanzania (ATC), Tanzania’s national air carrier, which is operating at a loss and dependent on subsidies from taxpayer money.

Established in 1977, this airline remains just a name now, and has had its most domestic, regional, and international routes captured by private and foreign-registered airlines.

Mr. Lowassa also vowed to restructure and revive the historical Central Railway line built by Germans 104 years ago. This rail cuts across the center of Tanzania and is best for tourist excursions, but has been neglected by the CCM government in favor of truck owners.

Likewise, the coalition of the opposition party leaders had accused the ruling CCM party for embracing foreignization policies in favor of foreign investments which had given corrupt investors an open path to transfer huge sums of money to offshore accounts, leaving Tanzanians poorer and a wider gap between the rich and the poor growing.

Together with the liberal Chadema leaders, the opposition coalition blamed the current CCM led-government for massive divestiture of once leading state-owned companies in favor of incompetent investors, saying the ruling party’s neo-communist ideologies had plunged Tanzania into an abyss of abject poverty, corruption, and theft of public funds.

Local media outlets and the opposition side are accusing the ruling party’s economic policies favoring unscrupulous foreign investors who had robbed this country from its natural resources, changing Tanzania into a “Squandered Eden.”

They as well blamed the government for its failure to solve the long-existing conflicts between pastoralists, farmers, and wildlife conservators in areas or localities bordering tourist and wildlife parks, looking for Mr. Lowassa to solve these conflicts.

Tanzania will hold its general, presidential election in late October to elect a new head of state and members of parliament after the ten-year term of the outgoing president Mr. Jakaya Kikwete.

Source: eturbonews

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