The curtain comes down today at the 56th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) after yet another low-key exhibition attributed to the depressed economy.
BY BATANAI MUTASA
Zambian President Edgar Lungu officially opened the exhibition on Thursday.
This year’s trade show case got to a chaotic start on Tuesday as most exhibitors were still setting up stands.
The two days reserved for traders remained subdued although companies indicated satisfaction at the amount of business realised.
The fair opened its doors to the public on Thursday, but visitors to the ZITF grounds did not turn up in their numbers only leaving room for the final day to salvage something meaningful.
Even the official opening ceremony was a quiet event which went unnoticed by most people, even those present at the exhibition grounds.
A tour by Southern Eye to traditional pressure points during the week revealed a loss of interest in the fair.
Popular stands like the ZBC radio stations did not ignite the lethargic atmosphere.
The lunar park, which is a major highlight for young children attracted few visitors.
Some analysts said the ZITF had become monotonous to the extent that people were no longer motivated to visit the showcase.
Impressive displays seem to have been reduced to nought, but some exhibitors could be commended for not giving up.
The Delta Beverages stand was popular and attracted attention through its Shumba Maheu brand and the music, dance and competitions.
Not to be outdone, the Zimbabwe National Army maintained its annual popularity, offering civilians a feel of military conditions.
People also crowded the Nyanga parks stand where the major attraction was a tamed python which people could caress.
The international business conference was also a conspicuous feature of the 2015 edition of the ZITF where economic and business leaders congregated to debate possible solutions to the country’s economic meltdown.
Being an event which most people eagerly await every year, in a city depressed by company closures, the ZITF is always expected to be a show not to miss.