Simple reflections on ZITF 2018 – Passports must be accessible to all.

Today on 24 April 2018, I visited the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2018, one thing that struck me is that, I visited the Registrar Department then made a decision to visit the Passport desk. I asked how long does it take to have a same day Passport.

I was told it takes only few hours in Harare but 24 working hours if you are outside Harare. Something quickly came to my mind, I asked why was it so, that other citizens have to wait for 24 working hours to get a very essential travel document whilst others get it less than 9 hours. It then dawned to me that this deprives other citizens opportunities to clinch business deals in the event they have to travel out of the country on an urgent basis.

I quipped the lady manning the desk that they must decentralise that service as it violates the right to non discrimination of citizens. She politely said I must write my suggestion or comment in their visitors book. I hope my concern will be attended to.

I must say that I also saw not so many small scale business persons exhibiting. I saw majority government departments and its various agencies. I think we must see more traders given an opportunity to exhibit than to see governments seemingly dominating the exhibition not withstanding that they also sell their services or products.

I of course managed to create linkages for the informal economy that I am involved in. I made linkages with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Corporation to see if they can interact with Informal Traders Associations like Bulawayo Vendors Trust. I also made contacts with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs – Companies registration, I was shown a Draft Bill amending the companies inline with #EaseofDoingbusiness.

I of course commend government for taking this initiative.

I also saw that Zanu PF has hired the entire Hall to exhibit whilst other parties at war on names.

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