HARARE – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has cancelled a planned trip to Zimbabwe this week where he was due to officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Uhuru’s withdrawal follows the April 21 death of former Kenyan leader Mwai Kibaki.
Zimbabwe government spokesman Ndavaningi Mangwana said: “President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa has announced that President Kenyatta is no longer coming for the ZITF as there is national bereavement in Kenya following the death of former President Mwai Kibaki.”
The ZITF gets underway on Tuesday. Kenyatta had been expected to officially open the trade exhibition on April 29 following an invitation extended by Mnangagwa in March.
Ahead of his planned trip, the Zimbabwe government had directed the City of Bulawayo to rename one of its roads after Kenyatta.
The 62nd edition of the ZITF will be held under the theme: “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development.”
Over 500 exhibitors have taken up space, 71 of them showcasing for the first time.
Fourteen foreign countries are also exhibiting – Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Belarus, Britain, Indonesia and Japan.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga will speak at the International Business Conference (IBC) on Wednesday, and then the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium on Thursday.