After failing to raise adequate funds to host this year’s Miss Zimbabwe pageant, the Miss Zimbabwe Trust has approached the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for assistance.
ZTA, which organised the pageant for the past six years, withdrew from the modelling extravaganza last year and the Miss Zimbabwe Trust could not garner enough corporate support to hold the contest.
Addressing the media at the ZTA offices on Friday, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said he had held a long meeting with the Miss Zim Trust patron Kiki Divaries and her team to map the way forward.
Kaseke said he was not impressed with the preparations for this year’s pageant.
“Honestly, how can you take people’s children and make them camp at some hidden farm. Why not put them in a proper hotel, give them proper meals and advise people of where they are staying.Everything needs to be done openly,” said Kaseke.
However, Kaseke said ZTA would not directly give the Miss Zimbabwe Trust money.
“They came begging us to help them out. We can’t give them sponsorship in the form of cash because they may abuse it,” he said.
He said government had indicated through the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Mzembi that ZTA should assist.
“Government has been watching and reading various stories from the Press.
“They have noticed that the pageant needs help and they have asked us to assist by hosting the pageant for the next two years in order to avoid problems which have arisen. We are still debating this issue but we will definitely assist.”
Kaseke said he got an unimpressive response when he asked the organisers who they had approached for sponsorship.
“These people were saying the nation had failed them by not supporting the pageant yet they were not approaching people for sponsorship.
“They told me they needed sponsorship because the stories about the issue had been published in newspapers. Honestly no one ever sponsors after reading in the papers, you need to approach people individually,” he said.
He added: “We also need to understand what the Miss Zim Trust is going to do with the people they had contracted to assist with the organising of the pageant because when ZTA comes on board we are coming with new conditions and systems.”
Kaseke said if ZTA decided to take over the show, they would accept the models who were crowned at the regional finals.
“We will accept and respect the models who are already representing their various regions because starting all over will take more time,” he said.
He added that some of the problems which had arisen were mainly caused internally.
“Some of the people who were contracted and are speaking on behalf of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust are the ones causing confusion. Some information being circulated is not true,” he said.
Miss Zimbabwe Trust board member Paxina Kalulu refused to comment on the issue referring questions to Divaries who was not answering calls while Gerald Mashonga was also not available for comment yesterday as calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Top Model of the World first runner-up Malaika Mushandu got a morale booster for her achievements at Miss World last year and Top Model of the World this year after she was given $5 000 and a scholarship by the ZTA.