Govt rubbishes national dress profiteering claims

Herald Reporter

The Government has dismissed as false and malicious, claims by a local newspaper that First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa is cashing in on the national fabric, which has been fully embraced countrywide.

In a statement yesterday, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi said such claims were baseless and calculated to soil the good image of the Mother of the Nation.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry wishes to remind all concerned that it is the sole custodian of the Zimbabwe national fabric and is responsible for distributing the fabric through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority provincial offices at a gazetted nominal fee of US$4 per metre.

“The ministry works with a few selected outlets which distribute the fabric at the gazetted price,” she said.

The national fabric, Minister Rwodzi said, was previously sold for between US$9 and US$12, before the ministry intervened to get the price reviewed downwards to US$4 per metre.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry encourages the nation to continue taking pride in our identity, our culture and our heritage through our national fabric.

“We take exception to false and malicious claims by some media outlets that the First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa is cashing in on the national fabric.

“Such claims are not only unfortunate, but appear calculated to soil the good image of our hard working Mother of the Nation, who is our patron.”

Minister Rwodzi said her ministry would forever be grateful to Dr Mnangagwa for initiating the launch of the national fabric to promote Zimbabwean culture and identity.

Models showcase the national fabric in various designs

“Let’s take pride in our own national identity. Nyika inovakwa, nekudiwa nevene vayo.” The search for the national dress started in 2005, but did not yield any results, prompting Amai Mnangagwa   to take it upon herself to ensure the programme succeeded.

The national dress reflects a lot more on the country’s traditions, history, national heritage and aspirations.

“This led Amai Mnangagwa to hold preparatory meetings and consultations with various stakeholders and different ethnic groups from all the country’s 10 provinces leading to the launch of the national fabric marking the first time that the country has been able to settle on a national dress style since 1980,” said Minister Rwodzi.

Speaking at the launch of the national dress fabric in 2021, President Mnangagwa endorsed it saying it was an expression of social and cultural identity of the people that should be passed from one generation to another.

He said national costumes preserved traditional art and crafts, which were an important part of a country, region, culture, heritage and also a way of learning history.

National costumes were a living and evolving art form that could give one a glimpse into the culture of a country or group.

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