Miss Tourism National Finals Postponed

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) on Friday announced that the Miss Tourism national finals, which had been slated for December 24, have been moved to February 13 next year but all provincial finals remain unchanged. Speaking to The Sunday Mail Leisure on Friday, corporate communications and public relations manager Sugar Chagonda said the ZTA had decided, in consultation with other stakeholders, to repackage the pageant, hence the need for more time to plan.

“We have consulted with other stakeholders who include the Miss Tourism Trust and also our sponsors, and we have agreed that with the 2010 soccer showcase being so close we could use that to our advantage by repackaging the show and market it to a bigger audience. “Already a team has been set up to build on the existing concept but making the event bigger and more attractive. Of course, some people may feel that we have held much bigger shows previously, but we are people who are driven by challenges and this is one of them. “We want to ensure that all attention will be on the national finals in February as we also want to market the country to would-be tourists as the best place for business and holidaying, among other things,” said Chagonda.

Meanwhile, the looming battle between the ZTA and the former licence holder of the Miss Tourism Mashonaland Central has been resolved following the latter’s apology to the tourism authority. The two had clashed after Umtali Saidi, the chairman of the Miss Tourism Mashonaland Central Trust, held his “own version of the pageant” under the Miss Tourism brand. According to Chagonda, Saidi and his co-accused Nicholas Shonhiwa approached the ZTA and begged for forgiveness from ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke, who pardoned them but still rubbished their show in favour of another one to be held on December 5 at Mazowe Hotel. “We still stand by our word that the show held by Saidi and company in Bindura was a non-event.

We were not part and parcel of that thing and we do not recognise it. But for the sake of the young girls who innocently took part in that show, we have forgiven these guys and allowed the girls who took part in their show to prove their worth in Mazowe. “This show will be organised by the ZTA and the new licence holder Elizabeth Gandah, and Saidi will have no part to play in this show except that some of the girls taking part in the competition were selected by his team,” said Chagonda. For his part, Saidi says he agreed to a compromise with the ZTA for the sake of progress as their working together would increase their chances of producing a quality model that would represent Mashonaland Central well. (Miss Tourism)

Mungwadzi Godwin

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