THE much-awaited Bulawayo Culture and Heritage Carnival parade is now scheduled to be held after the pending harmonised elections that President Robert Mugabe wants held this month-end.
The carnival had been slated for last month, but one of the organisers of the carnival, Mish Nyakudarika, an assistant to the event organiser Cont Mhlanga, confirmed the postponement of the event, attributing it to the pending polls.
Mugabe has unilaterally set July 31 as the date of the polls that would effectively bring closure to the coalition government although there are several court applications challenging the date.
“I can confirm that the carnival parade will be held only after the harmonised elections, but we are proceeding with preparations,” Nyakudarika said.
While the one-day event will be largely about celebrating culture and heritage in Bulawayo, organisers would use the occasion to launch prime historical sites in the city.
“Everyone’s attention has shifted to the elections and our stakeholders are withholding back financial support until elections are over. I can confirm that our stakeholders are doing a great job and we thank them for their support,” Nyakudarika told the Southern Eye.
He assured the public that the carnival would be conducted as planned, saying the results of the elections would not affect the historic event.
A total of 19 heritage sites are envisaged to be unveiled in Bulawayo as part of efforts to reposition the city as the cultural hub of Southern Africa.
There will be celebrations of various cultures namely, Ndebele, Nyanja, Tonga, San, Sotho-Venda, Kalanga, urban culture and others. The parade will start at Masotsha Avenue to 10th avenue and concluded at the King Lobengula Inxwala Festival grounds.
“The parade will run under the theme, “Woza KoBulawayo”, a theme taken from Busi Ncube’s song Woza KoBulawayo,” Nyakudarika said.