ZTA has no plans for MTZ girls: Chagonda

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), which recently revoked the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) licence it had given to Barbara Mzembi, says it has no plans for the 20 girls that had been selected by the pageant.

ZTA head of corporate affairs head, Sugar Chagonda, said his organisation has no intention to run the pageant.

“We have no interest as ZTA of running the pageant ourselves and as such we have no plans for those girls,” Chagonda told the Daily News.

He said ZTA was currently in the process of identifying another organisation to take over the running of the pageant.

“Once we find someone who agrees with our terms and conditions on the MTZ licence, then the new holder will be free to run it the way he/she likes,” said Chagonda.

Barbara, wife to former Foreign minister Walter Mzembi, was appointed by ZTA as the patron and licence holder of the beauty pageant last year.

Barbra Mzembi

Barbara Mzembi

But in a surprise decision, the ZTA cancelled the licence it had given to Barbara just before the girls went into scheduled boot camp.

“The Authority has been forced to make this decision by circumstances well within your control.

“This resolution was also precipitated by the lack of professionalism in your conduct where you were inappropriately making reference to ZTA, who are the appointing authority,” ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said in a letter addressed to Barbara last month.

Efforts to get a comment from the former MTZ licence-holder were not successful yesterday.

But Spencer Manyemba, the former spokesperson for the pageant, said they halted everything soon after the cancellation of the licence.

“The selected 20 girls were about to go into boot camp ahead of the finals which were set for the Harare International Conference Centre on December 9,” was all he could say.

The girls affected by the pageant ban were Wendy Mature, Chido Mitchelle Dika, Monalisa Dube, Elsie Moyo, Kundai Makuvise, Rufaro Chikwanha, Natalie Price, Tanyaradzwa Munyoro, Thelma Farisai Machero, Sakhile Sibusisiso Dube, Nelia Marisa, Thumelo Nare, Ashley Gonde, Belinda Patts, Nomukosi Chiname, Mazvita Chakava, Marizane Murashiki, Tafadzwa Primrose Jaricha, Melissa Tanaka, and Munesu Munawa.