The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has invited 10 church denominations to attend and grace the inaugural carnival the country is holding in May.

Out of the ten invited church groupings, ZTA said seven of them have so far confirmed their participation.

Speaking on Monday in Harare at the official launch of the inaugural Carnival which Zimbabwe is going to hold, ZTA Chief Executive Officer Karikoga Kaseke said they want the church to grace the occasion.

“I was in Egypt recently where people were demonstrating against their government on the issue that the government wanted a person’s religion to be endorsed on their identity cards. So here in Zimbabwe, we are glad that we have freedom of worship and region, where everyone can worship anywhere.

“In this program we are saying, if Charles Charamba and his wife sing gospels, let’s celebrate that. If someone sings gospel with a Rhumba beat, let’s appreciate and celebrate that,” Kaseke said.

Kaseke, however, said the coming of the Carnival should not destroy the Zimbabwean culture.

“I know that there has been a lot of debate on the Samba dance and displays, with people saying they should not be done in the streets. It’s true that the dances are not of our African culture and, if we are to let the displays be done in public, Baba Charamba naMai Charamba would not even want to associate with us anymore.

“In that case, we are not going to showcase the Samba displays in public. They will be shown in a private room for a US$20 fee. We want to maintain our culture,” Kaseke added.

Zimbabwe will hold the carnival for the first time from the 21st to 26th May.