The organisers of the Zim Peace Gospel Festival have announced that they have revised the date of the inaugural edition of the fete.
The maiden edition of what is arrayed to be an annual gospel event will now be held sooner than advertised at the festival launch at Harare Town House last week.
The fete has been rescheduled to Friday, the 27th of July at the Glamis Arena.
A brainchild of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in conjunction with different church mergers, the gala was originally slated to be held on Saturday, July 28.
ZTA Chief Operating Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi, informed members of the media at a press briefing on Thursday that competing events necessitated the changes.
“We have had to juggle around so many variables in terms of logistics as there are so many events at the same time. The Zimbabwe Peace Festival will now be held on July 27, 2018, at Glamis Arena.”
A non-sectarian and apolitical event aimed at drawing together God-fearing artists and the people to celebrate and advocate for peace within the nation, the Zim Peace Festival is of vital magnitude in the calendar of activities as it will feature gospel singers from across diverse creeds and will see them promoting, religious tourism, unity, peace and non-violence during the imminent 2018 harmonised elections set for July 30.
On ZTA’s involvement, the Chief Operating Officer echoed Minister Priscilla Mupfumira‘s earlier remarks at the launch that peace is one of the unique selling points for destination Zimbabwe.
“You might want to ask why ZTA is involved, we are coordinating the event simply because tourism thrives where there is peace. Churches have a role to play in conveying this message of peace and peace is one unique selling point for Zimbabwe. Peace puts us ahead of any nation the world,” Mr Chidzidzi said.
Mr Chidzidzi said the festival would be a permanent feature on the calendar.
“There were suggestions that we should not do it in Harare but we want to get it to a stage where it becomes an activity where people from other places come as part of religious tourism. We want people to start to travel for the festival and that’s the beginning of tourism,” he said.
He said it was ZTA hope that the festival stimulates business downstream from service providers, artists and others.
“While some people would enjoy good business, there are many who will get salvation,” Mr Chidzidzi said.
From the Zimbabwe Christian Ministries Association (ZCMA), Pastor Langton Gombiro supported the festival saying Zimbabwe bears a solid record of retaining peace noted throughout the world.
“It is known Zimbabwe is a peaceful nation save for one or two decades but it has been exceptionally peaceful. We are reclaiming our fabric and form and we want to be the pink elephant on the face of earth because we are unique so let’s make joyful noise to celebrate our peace,” he said.
Zimbabwe Council of Pentecostal Churches (ZCPC) Commissioner Adv Evangelist Fortunate Bere said as a consortium they will mobilise congregants to take part in the festival as it is the churches’ mandate to spread the gospel of peace.
“We would like to thank ZTA for affording us the opportunity to partake in preaching the gospel of national peace during the critical period of elections. The church plays a critical role in reconciliation, dialogue and fostering peace. We hope that the music, word and all performances at the festival will renew the minds of people. We want the country to continue having peace so that people are free to do business with us,” she said.