Athletes deserted at Musclemania

HARARE - Champion “Mbewe” Chienderamwano emerged victorious in the Musclemania Zimbabwe contest that was stained by maladministration and a total disregard for the welfare of athletes.

The contest was held at the Hapizen Plaza in Hatfield on Saturday night with the reigning Mr Zimbabwe shrugging off the stiff challenge of Isaac “Sugar” Chimuchenga to become the first man to defend the title since its inception in 2011.

However, it was the pre and post competition drama that stole the limelight for all the wrong reasons and questioned the morality of organisers of the show.

Whilst the body builders forked out $20 each as an entry fee, very little was done to cater for their accommodation, food or transport.

Above that a number of fans parted with$5 to enter Hapizen Plaza and watch the competition but that did little to change the fortunes of competitors.

Instead, athletes could be seen wandering around Hapizen Plaza bar after the contest which ended two hours late, minutes into Sunday morning, with no place reserved for them to sleep.

The contestants were left to count down the clock for the break of first light in the hope of catching a bus and returning to their respective homes.

A local food outlet had been said to have donated takeaways for the athletes’ consumption but nothing of that nature materialised.

It was ironic when Chimuchenga, who had won an Astro cellphone for his efforts of coming second to Chiendaramwano, resolved to buy a plate of sadza and knuckle bones that was selling at a $1.

At that stage the event organisers were having a merry time revelling to Sulumani Chimbetu, who had taken the over the stage after the end of the bodybuilding contest.

By the time Chimbetu finished his act at 4am the remaining Mr Musclemania organisers quickly disappeared into their cars and drove off, living the participants to fend for themselves.

Participants were drawn from in and around Harare but some resolved to walking from Hatfield in the hope of catching a stray commuter omnibus and getting home to get some descent sleep.

None of the organisers could care less.

They had made their money, the patron of the Hapizen Plaza bar, who is also the president of Musclemania Zimbabwe Oliver Chibage had seen coffers fill up due to the influx of bodybuilding supporters.

But the contestants who had made everything possible and stood by an event that had been postponed for over two times were left in the cold.

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