Featured, Pageants & Modelling

Sketchy business at Miss Tourism

Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Ashley Morgan flanked by her two princesses. Also in the picture are Mrs. Mzembi (in pink), the First Lady, Grace Mugabe (in Black) and Princess Corrina (far right) PIC: T. CHIHAMBAKWE | ZIMBOJAM.COM

Just when we thought we now had a national pageant that is scandal free after the drama caused by Miss Zimbabwe Trust in recent years, it appears organisers of local pageants always flatter to deceive.

With over US$2 million having been pumped into the 2016 Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) pageant spearheaded by Barbra Mzembi, everything seemed to be glossy on the surface but it’s really disheartening to learn about the recent developments at MTZ which have seen some of the winners still yet to receive their prizes and some local service providers also yet to receive their dues.

The Sunday Mail of February 12 carried a story that revealed all the aforementioned shortcomings by the organisers of the pageant, and in the article, the main sponsor of MTZ 2016, Justice Maphosa of Big Time Strategic Group was vomiting fire as he was shocked to learn about such developments considering the investment he had made.

In what was a clear panic response measure, MTZ organisers called for a press conference at the Rainbow Towers on Thursday and suddenly the ferocious Maphosa who was barking like a pit bull in the Sunday Mail was now behaving like a chihuahua.

“All is well with MTZ and we have accounted for each and every cent. I know the Mzembi’s better and they are friends of mine, there is no love lost between me and Walter Mzembi’s family. We are more than friends even after this,” said Maphosa at the press briefing.

On sponsorship, Maphosa maintained a firm position that Big Time Strategic Group remains committed to sponsoring MTZ.

“Do you just walk away simply because something has gone wrong? There is nothing wrong with holding each other to account as friends. We are not going to walk away from sponsoring girl children in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Asked on why he had fumed last week upon being notified by the girls that their contracts when not being honoured fully, Maphosa said he had the right to be angry but his position had however changed because they had gone back to the drawing board with organisers of MTZ and identified the real problem.

“I must fume when things go bad but that says to us lets go back to the drawing board and that is exactly what we did.

“The problem is with people wanting to make quick money,” he added blaming models who are alleged to have altered invoices so as to get more cash.

“I have not met with the girls because they are busy with school. They must deal with the patron because she is their mother. If I meet them, then I am sending the message that the patron has done a bad job,” he said.

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Tinotenda Munyukwi
Tinotenda Munyukwi is an investigative journalist who is passionate about research and social analysis. His big dream is to make a major contribution to the global media sector.
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