Miss Heritage descends into chaos

HARARE - Barely a year after securing partners from South Africa, who availed desperately needed funding and sponsorship, Miss Heritage, founded by Tare Munzara three year ago, is on the brink of implosion.

After struggling to host the Miss Heritage World Pageant in Harare in 2013, Munzara and his partner Ronald Tisauke ceded 49 percent of the pageant to South African investors.

But with everybody thinking sanity had finally been restored at the pageant, Munzara announced recently that he had quit and that he would be holding his own Miss Heritage pageant in Harare despite the fact that he and his South African partners had already agreed to hold another one at the Sandton Convention Centre on November 15.

A defiant Munzara insists he is still the legitimate owner of Miss Heritage and that the South Africans were using his trademark illegally.

“It could not work out with the South Africans so I decided to take the pageant and go. But they are still holding on to it illegally. So we are going to do it at home (Zimbabwe) in November. Ronald decided to join the South Africans and so he is working with them,” he said.

But Tisauke told the Daily News on Sunday that Munzare’s behaviour was contrary to the partnership agreement they had forged with the South Africans.

“Tare resigned from Miss Heritage. After that he then started going around telling the world that he is the sole owner of Miss Heritage and that I was trying to steal it from him. He resigned because he wanted to prove a point I presume.

“Initially it was simple matter of directors’ salaries which Tare and even I wanted. You see we sold 49% of the pageant to South African investors and registered a company as well as the pageant trademark there.

“I later realised that Tare had another agenda other than the directors’ salaries and I would not be used as a chess piece. I decided what was best for me. I maintained my shares in the pageant. So that is the short version of the long story of how Tare left and I stayed,” he said.

Tisauke added that initially he was in agreement with Munzara on the issue of salaries.

“There was a time when we both resigned from our executive functions to make the investment partners pay our salaries because we were working on a day to day basis in the pageant. When we sat on the negotiating table about it Tare took it a step further and resigned in all legal capacities as a part of Miss Heritage, he went on to confirm this on Facebook.

“Given that the company currently has been gobbling money and not making any there was nothing to pay him out with. I think this made him upset and he decided to start telling the world that we are trying to steal the pageant and a lot of other crazy things.

“He tried to blackmail us with the Facebook page, email and website which he was responsible for. He refused to give the passwords to us and is now using the same platforms to promote a different version of Miss Heritage which he claims he is now doing in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Tisauke is convinced that the Miss Heritage pageant set for the Sandton Convention Centre on November 15 will be a success despite Munzara’s attempts to muddy the waters.

“We tried to remind him of the legally binding agreements we had made with him and that he resigned on his own accord but he has now even gone berserk, sending very nasty things to directors and contestants and even the media.

“We have been making good progress despite the mudslinging by my former partner. All the national directors have stuck by us in this trying time and we recently clinched a sponsorship deal that pays for all our contestants’ flights to the host nation and back.

“We are in the process of filing a restraining order on him. As someone I founded and created this brand with I did not want this to be public. But I have seen some things in the press already; I assume that is why you asked what’s happening. It’s a sad, I assume he was hoping to get a hefty pay out and now that he has lost the investment and did not get the expected cash he has lost it,” he said.

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