‘Mikono Speakers’ respond to fraud allegations


(Posted 24th May 2019)


It did not take long for a response to arrive in the ATCNews inbox over an article posted yesterday – https://atcnews.org/2019/05/23/fraudsters-fraudsters-everywhere-one-looks/ – where the question was asked in the headline if fraudsters, as alleged by the KaribuKiliFair organizers, had entered the scene of tourism trade shows.
Mikono Speakers Mr. Deo Kilawe was quick to spot the unfolding drama and equally swift to ask for his side of the story to be published, which is what media do when they subscribe to balanced reporting.
In fact so keen was Mr. Kilawe to get into the public domain that he used the comment section of a number of other unrelated articles to express his anger and gain visibility, clearly too impatient to wait for his response to be properly published.

Wrote Mikono Speakers / Mr. Deo Kilawe in a communication to the public:

Public Statement: East Africa Tourism & Hospitality Expo (EATHE) 2019 We, Mikono Speakers have received information alleging that we’re sharing floor details & partnering with our competitors in running our event in Moshi scheduled for 22nd to 24th November 2019 – this is NOT true but a mere manipulative propaganda aimed at discrediting Mikono Speakers brand. For some time now Mikono Speakers has been at live crossfires from our competitors earnestly trying to discredit us from the expo industry, just for the few to monopolize the market. We are a reputable institution and believe in multiplied opportunities and success at no expense of others. We are 100% local company locally owned by local Africans supporting governments’ initiatives in industrialization and promoting tourism & hospitality industry across the region. Is it a crime for Tanzania to host more than 3 Tourism expos annually? Kenya has 4 tourism expos, Morocco has 6 tourism expos, and South Africa has 12 tourism expos per year attracting over 12million visitors bringing lots of tourism opportunities within host countries and across the continent. The propaganda has provided us free promotion, we are now receiving new bookings faster than ever before, just today we have received about 50 bookings today. We stand tall and please expect us to deliver best expos this year yet again. We are not running our ‘EATHE 2019’ in partnership with any of our competitors. Mikono Speakers is among top 5 biggest exhibition companies in Africa todate with decade+ tested years of experience in exhibition industry. We will neither be deterred nor surrender to propaganda nor give our competition a reason to brag. This smear campaign will also fail. As gold and silver are tested by fire, baseless allegations will never gain traction no inhibit us from running our events and deliver to our clients expectations. You as our (potential) client, exhibitor, hosted buyer, and attendee/visitor do not be deterred as well. The EATHE 2019 is over 60% sold! We are bringing over 200 start-up hosted buyers and special workshop on Certified Autism Travel Professional (CAT) Program training for operators. We invite you to exhibit and visit the expo. Please register now, and lets all meet in Moshi this November to take East Africa Tourism and Hospitality industry even further! Truly, Organizing Committee East Africa Tourism & Hospitality Expo 2019 23.05.2019

What now seems almost inevitable, given the initial public allegations and the subsequent public response to it, is that the unfolding ‘Battle of the Tourism Trade Shows‘ may be heading to the courts.

As and when information to that effect is received, will ATCNews.org cover the story right to the point where a settlement is reached, in or out of court, or otherwise a judgement is pronounced and if any appeals are filed against it in higher courts.

The unfolding saga is a reminder of the days when the KiliFair in Moshi was launched a few years ago in direct competition with the Karibu Travel Market in Arusha, pegging the two – meanwhile of course partners after common sense prevailed – against each other in a fight over market share, exhibitor and visitors numbers and with trade fair dates just a week or two apart at the time.

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