55 ex­hibitors at Mid­lands show

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

THE 91st edi­tion of the Mid­lands Agri­cul­tural Show ended on a low note on Sun­day after only 55 ex­hibitors turned up for the an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion.

The show kicked off Thurs­day with­out one of its main at­trac­tions, the cat­tle ex­hi­bi­tion, for the sec­ond year in a row, fol­low­ing the out­break of foot and mouth in the prov­ince.

Mid­lands Show So­ci­ety chair­man Mr Pa­trick Chade­m­ana said the un­avail­abil­ity of cat­tle ex­hi­bi­tion had neg­a­tively af­fected the num­ber of ex­hibitors. He also blamed the con­tin­ued clo­sure of com­pa­nies in the prov­ince for the low turnout.

“Well the show is clos­ing on a low note. We only had 55 ex­hibitors from the man­u­fac­tur­ing and hospi­tal­ity sec­tors.

‘‘The rest were small to medium en­ter­prises. We, how­ever, re­main op­ti­mistic that de­spite this slow take up of stands this year, next year will be dif­fer­ent,” said Mr Chade­m­ana.

For the past year the ve­teri­nary ser­vice has failed to con­tain FMD re­sult­ing in the sus­pen­sion of cat­tle trade in parts of the prov­ince no­tably in Zvisha­vane, Gweru and Mvuma, which are known as the Red Zone dis­tricts.

“The cat­tle ex­hi­bi­tion has been sus­pended due to the out­break of foot and mouth dis­ease. The ve­teri­nary depart­ment has failed to con­tain the dis­ease.

“We had wanted to ex­hibit live­stock this year for the first time in al­most three years but we later learnt that foot and mouth dis­ease had been de­tected in some parts of the prov­ince.

‘‘Be­cause we don’t want to risk the farm­ers’ cat­tle, we de­cided to forego the cat­tle ex­hi­bi­tion,” said Mr Chade­m­ana.

The show ran un­der the theme, “En­hanc­ing Eco­nomic Growth in a Dy­namic En­vi­ron­ment”.

In­dian Am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Mr Rung­sung Masakui of­fi­cially opened the busi­ness ex­trav­a­ganza on Satur­day where he called for con­tin­ued part­ner­ships be­tween his coun­try and Harare.

@pchi­tumba1 CAPE TOWN — While pro­duc­tion at South Africa’s oil re­finer­ies have con­tin­ued de­spite an in­def­i­nite strike by work­ers de­mand­ing higher wages, mo­torists are bat­tling to find petrol at some fill­ing sta­tions around the coun­try. How­ever, fuel re­tail­ers have urged mo­torists not to panic.

Around 15 000 mem­bers af­fil­i­ated to Chem­i­cal, En­ergy, Pa­per, Print­ing, Wood and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Cep­p­wawu) launched the strike on Thurs­day, de­mand­ing a 9 per­cent wage hike and one-year deal, while em­ploy­ers were of­fer­ing less.

“Re­finer­ies con­tinue to pro­duce,” South African Petroleum In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Avhap­fani Tshi­fu­laro said.

Some parts of Gaut­eng prov­ince, the coun­try’s com­mer­cial hub, which in­cludes Jo­han­nes­burg and the cap­i­tal Pre­to­ria, had faced some de­lays, he said. Driv­ers fer­ry­ing petrol from de­pots to ser­vice sta­tions were be­ing threat­ened, he said, but did not give de­tails.

In­tim­i­da­tion by strik­ing union mem­bers at a ma­jor petrol hub in Pre­to­ria has brought the depot to a stand­still, which has re­sulted in petrol sta­tions running dry in north­ern Gaut­eng yes­ter­day, Tshi­fu­laro in a tele­phonic in­ter­view. Union of­fi­cials were not avail­able to com­ment. Reg­gie Sibiya, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at the Fuel Re­tail­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, said mainly poorer ar­eas were be­ing af­fected by petrol de­liv­ery de­lays and dis­puted the claims of vi­o­lence against the driv­ers. “Oil com­pa­nies don’t want to go de­liver there and are us­ing safety as an ex­cuse. It’s not be­cause there is no prod­uct,” he said. — Fin24

Mr Rung­sung Masakui, Zim­babwe In­dian Am­bas­sador to

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