THE main opposition MDC-T has condemned the involvement of army and Zanu PF officials in the Miss World Zimbabwe pageant, saying the beauty show was an apolitical event.
MOSES MATENGA/WINSTON ANTONIO
The pageant was organised by Marry Mubaiwa-Chiwenga, wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, under Miss World Zimbabwe Trust with Zanu PF and army officials taking an active role in the organisation of the pageant.
“The MDC maintains that the Miss Zimbabwe pageant should primarily be a beauty contest involving young, beautiful, patriotic and intelligent ladies. It should never be used as some form of political and/or military forum where politicians exploit the pageant to score some cheap political points,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
“Furthermore, the involvement of the military in the beauty pageant takes away the glamour and glitz that is ordinarily associated with such contests the world over. For God’s sake, why should soldiers in full military gear be so intricately involved in the Miss Zimbabwe pageant?
“The Zanu PF regime is determined to militarise all organs of the State. This clearly shows that this regime is paranoid and obsessed with power retention at whatever cost. The good thing is that the Zanu PF regime has now entered the home stretch. Its days are numbered. It will soon collapse like a deck of cards.”
Other commentators posted messages on social media platforms raising concern over army’s involvement in the show.
But the pageant’s spokesperson Tendai Chirau yesterday defended the involvement of the army saying: “The involvement of soldiers in the coronation process is just an appreciation of the pageant. It did not start with us as many countries do the same.
“There were no guns at the pageant; moreover soldiers are citizens of the country so we don’t see any problem with their participation at the pageant.”
Chaplain General Joseph Nyakudya, an army official, gave the opening prayer while in attendance was also Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, among other guests.
Airforce boss Perrance Shiri was also present.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was supposed to be the guest of honour, but assigned Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira to represent him.