Govt pulls plug on Kariba beach party  

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Vasco Chaya
LIFESTYLE WRITER
chayav@dailynews.co.zw

GOVERNMENT has pulled the plug on a planned Kariba Summer Cruise and Beach Party set for the resort town on September 25 and 26 as the arts and entertainment sector remains closed in line with the coronavirus (Covid-19) national lockdown regulations.

The event targeting 200 guests was set to be powered by several DJs, among them MC Abisha Palmer, MC Bigdollar, MC Iroq, DJ Candyman, DJ Youngfresh, DJ Andie Browns, DJ Professor, DJ FreeB and Selecta Odza.
To attend the Summer Cruise and Beach Party, individuals had to pay between US$100 and US$150 for accommodation, meals and entertainment among others.
However, director of Arts, Culture Promotion and Development in the ministry of Arts, Biggie Samwanda said it will be illegal to hold such a festival with this Covid-19.
“As far as I know, arts activities have not yet been allowed to take place in the country due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The government is yet to open the sector to the public,” said Samwanda.
The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) concurred with the ministry of Arts saying the sector remains closed.
Nacz communication and marketing manager Rodney Ruwende said: “The sector remains closed. No arts activities are allowed to take place in the country unless they are held digitally. Yes, we understand that some artists are facing survival challenges due to Covid-19 but we encourage them to be patient and do the right thing of adhering to the Covid-19 regulations.”
Ruwende added that he was still analysing the event’s poster to ascertain the profile and status of the promoters behind the event. “We want to see their status in terms of registrations with the council.”
Organisers told the Daily News yesterday that the event was approved by the ministry of Tourism.
“The event has been approved by the ministry of Tourism. We have agreed that it will be held in line with the Covid-19 regulations. We will enforce mandatory Covid-19 testing at the entrance, no mask no entry, all the rooms will be fumigated and sanitisers will be in plenty supply,” Cynthia Njagu, one of the event organisers.
While efforts to obtain a comment from the ministry of Tourism were fruitless by the time of going to print yesterday, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) told this publication they have no problem with businesses bouncing back as long as they do so under strict Covid-19 regulations.
“We are encouraging business to adhere to regulation of the Covid-19 pandemic that include wearing of face masks, using hand sanitisers and observing social distancing among other measures put in place by the ministry of Health in conjunction with the World Health Organisation,” ZTA publicist Godfrey ‘‘Chief’’ Koti said.
He encouraged tourism operators to always work hand in glove with the authority during this Covid-19 period.
Government reopened tourism last week after almost half-a-year of closure due to the pandemic.

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