Zimbabwe hosts global carnival despite economic problems

In this picture taken Friday, September, 8, 2017, Brazilan Samba dancers perform on stage during the Harare International Carnival in the capital. An international carnival aimed at boosting the local tourism industry has ended in economically troubled Zimbabwe. Some viewed the Harare festivities, which ended Sunday and featured artists and dancers from Brazil, Cuba, Egypt and elsewhere, as a relief from the struggle to get by in the southern African country. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe hosts global carnival despite deepening economic problems

HARARE, Zimbabwe — An international carnival aimed at boosting Zimbabwe's tourism industry has ended in the economically troubled country.

Some saw the festivities that featured artists from Brazil, Cuba, Egypt and elsewhere as a relief from the struggle to get by in the southern African nation.

Others called the carnival a waste of money in a country struggling to pay civil servants' salaries and battling acute currency problems.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi defended the carnival as necessary to promote tourism, saying private sponsors paid for most of it.

The 10-day carnival has been held annually since 2013 with the exception of last year, when funding problems forced its cancellation.

A law banning the consumption of alcohol in public was suspended for the duration of the carnival.

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