A NASTY fight is brewing over the control and ownership of Miss Heritage pageant a few months after its cofounder and former president, Taremeredzwa Munzara, allegedly brought on board South African investors, NewsDay has learnt.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Munzara, who has been struggling to run the pageant since its inception in 2012, is alleged to have hit hard times which forced him to engage South Africans Mandla Mkhize and Nhlanhla Shabangu for sponsorship and later agreed to have the pageant registered in South Africa under the name Miss Heritage (Private) Limited as a way of solidifying the partnership.
Sources privy to the goings on at the pageant told NewsDay that Munzara, together with Miss Heritage vice-president Ronald Tisauke, were introduced to Mkhize and Shabangu by a friend (name supplied) based in South Africa.
This was after they had confided in the friend that things were not well for them and agreed to incorporate the foreigners after selling to them a 49% stake in the pageant.
It is understood that a few months later Munzara expressed that he was not happy with some of the aspects of the joint venture and subsequently tendered his resignation on May 29.
“There is a fight between Tare Munzara and the South Africans whom he had engaged as investors as he was struggling to keep the pageant running smoothly. They failed to agree on a number of issues despite having agreed to register the pageant in South Africa,” said the source.
Munzara took to Facebook to confirm his resignation.
“I submitted my resignation at Miss Heritage on May 29 and on June 29 I will no longer be the president of Miss Heritage,” he wrote. “I will announce my successor in due course.”
When contacted by NewsDay, Munzara was, however, evasive saying: “There is no story, just people stealing from me. Who are they to steal from me and get away with it?”
In a letter to the pageant’s national directors seen by this reporter and dated July 27, the pageant’s new president, Shabangu, said Munzara was no longer authorised to use the Miss Heritage brand.
“We have noted with concern the communication of our former president Mr Tare Munzara on July 17. Regrettably it appears that he is not interested in dealing with matters openly and truthfully,” reads part of the letter.
“I wish to confirm and assure you that the intellectual property rights in and to the Miss Heritage pageant are held by Miss Heritage (Pvt) Limited.
“Munzara is no longer part of the team running Miss Heritage and anyone who shall engage him will do that at their own risks.”
In another Facebook post, Munzara described Mkhize, Shabangu and one Ronald Tisauke as fraudsters.
“Dear friends, please be advised that there are gentlemen who are going around forging documents for Miss Heritage claiming that they own Miss Heritage and I sold it to them,” he wrote.
“Please take note of these names of the men that forged and sent fake documents to NDS — Mandla Mkhize, Nhlanhla Shabangu and Ronald Tisauke.”
Munzara said he had moved Miss Heritage from South Africa to Zimbabwe.
It is understood that preparations to host the pageant in South Africa are underway with 35 countries having already confirmed their participation.
The pageant has been slated for November 15 at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.