Outrage over Miss Zim ouster

HARARE - Last week’s dethronement of Miss Zimbabwe 2015 Emily Kachote over alleged nude pictures has been described as unfair by gender activists and modelling experts contacted by the Daily News.

The Miss Zimbabwe Trust, chaired by Marry Chiwenga, wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander general Constantine Chiwenga, booted out Kachote over claims that the beauty queen posed for naked pictures.

Legislator and lawyer Jessie Majome wants to see a criminal case opened against the person who leaked these pictures, if indeed they are in existence.

“If the pictures do exist, whoever took them should be prosecuted, there should be a criminal complaint filed against that person,” said the Harare West parliamentarian.

“I am not interested in whether the pictures are there or not, but we should question why as women we allow ourselves to be treated in this way.”

Majome believes beauty pageants are patriarchal by nature.

“I have an ideological problem with the whole beauty pageant concept. It always leaves women vulnerable and the end result is not good for them,” she said.

“Women and men are equal human beings but that is set aside in this beauty industry. It exposes women to dehumanisation.

“I think the whole industry is an arena for sexual exploitation of women; the idea is for the exploitation of the woman’s sexuality. It dismembers the anatomy of a woman for patriarchal satisfaction. It shows that women are not valued because if you don’t value something you objectify it, which is the same here.”

Gender activist Virginia Muwanigwa, ‎the director at Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (Hifc), insisted that Kachote should be treated in line with Zimbabwean laws.

“It’s not about her being a fellow woman, we need to know what principles this organisation is operating on. They should also know that as a people who do have rights and laws that protect us,” she told the Daily News.

“When I look at the conditions of entry like the boyfriend issues, where does the boyfriend come in? Why should my having a boyfriend deter me from entering, does that mean that they can’t stomach that I am taken? For some of us it seems it’s like the girls are now being marketed as a commodity.”

Like Majome, Muwanigwa felt if indeed the pictures existed, the culprit who leaked them should be prosecuted.

“For me the pictures are not the issue, the issue is what are they doing to the culprit? What is the Trust doing to protect the girls from predators? The Trust should investigate this guy, whoever he is, what his intentions are and how he ends up dating potential queens,” she said.

“I think there is some syndicate operating to leech the girls. Can someone tell me what his role in the pageant is? It is a case of revenge pornography. Up to now I have not heard of anyone having been arrested over this issue.”

Muwanigwa added that women should consider boycotting these pageants.

“I don’t have enough facts to defend her on the whole issue, but this is a place we are beginning to think as gender activists that women and girls should stay away from. It profiles you as a person; it then uses moralistic judgments,” said the Hifc director.

“If you enter that pageant you are then exposing yourself as an individual without the guarantee that they will protect you when things go haywire. It’s unfortunate that it is women who are haunted by these things.”

Ronald Tisauke, a former owner of a modelling agency, has been disappointed by the way the Miss Zimbabwe Trust has handled the Kachote issue.

“I think it could have been handled better; the pageant has been riddled with enough scandals. But they are in the shoes so they know better why they had to dethrone her after such a long wait for nude pictures, which we had forgotten about,” he said.

“But it’s also not a bad thing that they are setting a no-nonsense precedence. The brand was tainted already before the nude pictures saga, the issue only affirmed what was there,” said Tisauke.

Comments (1)

I do agree. Our girls should stay away from the pageant. At the end of the day they are abandoned and badly exposed instead of being protected. In this case I understand the "dethroned " girl challenged the Zimbabwe Trust to produce evidence, but it appears there do not have any.

ndizvo - 19 June 2015

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