Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke instructed the Masvingo Show Society organisers to ban Chitando, Masvingo Central constituency Member of Parliament and provincial director of elections in his party
to exhibit at this year’s provincial show.
This move has resulted in a few exhibitors participating at the show and a low turnout after residents heed a call to boycott the annual event following the banning.
Maluleke, however, denied having anything to do with denying MDC a stand. “They did not come to me seeking a stand hence they should not say they were denied by me”.
Chitando planned to popularize activities which he is doing in his constituency at this year’s provincial show but was denied to get a stand, sparking an outrage from the former opposition party.
MDC-T provincial chairman, Wilstaff Sitemere said the party had distributed fliers early urging ‘progressive Zimbabweans’ to stay away from the show.
“We called for a boycott, and this low turnout is testimony that the people have heed the call. We want every Zimbabwean to be granted a right to exhibit whatever they have. This is our Zimbabwe too, it is not only for ZANU (PF)” Sitemere said.
A copy of the boycott, seen by Radio VOP, reads: Following the denial of the MDC to have a stand at exhibit at the show, we urge all progressive Zimbabwean to snub the event as it mocks the MDC as a junior partner in the inclusive government. We are saying NO to an event that is ZANU-nised.”
By noon, less than 200 people had passed through the gates, according to show organisers, a figure far too low from that of last year at the same time.
Last year, close to 500 people had made their way into the showgrounds by 12 noon, according to show organising secretary Jefta Mathose.
The boycott is set to affect the gate takings of the show society.