SOME parents who attended this year’s Harare Agricultural Show (HAS) on Saturday said they were keeping a very close eye on their children following the disappearance of a child at the show last year.
Parents interviewed by The Standard on Saturday said they felt their children were a little bit safer following reports that the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) had installed cameras in and around the show grounds.
“I have not seen anything amiss but I just make sure I keep them in sight,” said a woman who identified herself as Amai Nyasha.
Another parent, who identified herself as Mrs Mbiri, said the low volume of human traffic at the show made her feel safer.
“It is still a good environment and for now I feel safe,” she said.
But one Tatenda Ruware of Warren Park said the society needed to step up security to prevent a repeat of last year’s misfortune.
“Just look around; there are no police officers here,” he said.
“If something goes wrong, there are no posters or billboards with information about where people can go when they need help.”
Ruware added: “Even in the case of the boy that disappeared last year, I did not hear anything that ZAS did to assist the family. I thought there would be an awareness campaign and signs all over the park.”
Given Flint Matapure (3) disappeared at the show last year in August and his remains were found three months later by a grounds man working at the exhibition park. Pathologists this year positively identified the remains as the minor’s.
There were reports that cameras were being installed at the park but The Standard established that they were only concentrated at entrance and exit points.
Meanwhile, the show started on a low key and on Friday some exhibitors were still setting up their stands.
Plain clothes officers monitoring the show: Madombwe
ZAS public relations officer Heather Madombwe on Saturday said it would take longer than expected to install cameras all over the park.
“So far we have only managed to install at gates because there are lots of regulations that we have to go through with Potraz since we use the LAN frequency. We use that because we do not want to risk losing frequency,” said Madombwe.
The Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is mandated by law to issue licences in the postal and telecommunications sector, and to set the terms and conditions for activities in the sector.
Madombwe added that they had also resorted to using plain clothes police officers this year.
“Having uniformed police officers alerts perpetrators and they end up hiding, but this year the public must be assured that security is among them, only that they cannot see it.”