Miss World Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Mrs Marry Chiwenga

Miss World Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Mrs Marry Chiwenga

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MISS Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Mrs Marry Chiwenga last week tore into Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere for letting the Miss World Zimbabwe finalists down.

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Mrs Chiwenga accused Minister Kasukuwere of reneging on his pledge to sponsor the Miss World Zimbabwe finalists’ tour of the Victoria Falls Rainforest. The contestants are said to have spent hours at the Rainforest entry point in Victoria Falls after being denied entry on Tuesday last week. Efforts by Mrs Chiwenga to get the minister or his team to give the green light for the models were unsuccessful.

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“Miss Zimbabwe Trust could have paid for the girls to enter the Rainforest if the ministry had not promised,” fumed Mrs Chiwenga.

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“In my personal capacity and on behalf of the trust, I would like to express my disappointment in the minister, his permanent secretary and the director-general of national parks, for failing to fulfil the promise they had made to those young women.

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“I would like to urge whoever is supporting the girls that they must honour their pledges. Imagine that these girls spent weeks in Victoria Falls and did everything else except that one important tour of the Rainforest,” seethed Mrs Chiwenga.

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She said Minister Kasukuwere as a former Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment, should never be found wanting when it comes to promoting young people.

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“This is promotion of the girl child. Miss Zimbabwe is not a business, it is a national event, which promotes this country and uplifts the girl child. We really expect Minister Kasukuwere to grasp that.

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“What will the country’s representative say when asked about Victoria Falls at the Miss World? That she was denied entry to the Rainforest the first time she attempted to experience the place?These are ambassadors for our country.”

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Mrs Chiwenga said that after the initial hiccup, she called the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Prince Mupazviriho, who bluntly told her to pay for her girls.

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“The Permanent Secretary told me that they are also looking for money and that I should pay for the girls. I told him that the Minister had agreed to the sponsorship but he insisted that we should pay. I then called the Minister who referred me to the director general of national parks (Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority).

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“I then called Chidziya (Edison), the director general, but there was no joy. His people only called me with a go ahead around 5pm, long after the tired girls had retired to their rooms at the hotel,” explained Mrs Chiwenga.

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When contacted by The Sunday Mail Leisure for comment, Environment Water and Climate Minister Kasukuwere referred all questions to Mr Chidziya.

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Efforts to get a comment from Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority director general Mr Edison Chidziya were unsuccessful as his mobile phone was at first not being answered before becoming unreachable.

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National Parks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo had not responded to this publication’s questions by the time of going to print.

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Permanent Secretary Mupazviriho said he was not aware that there had been such a problem with Miss Zimbabwe Trust.

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“I do not know about that issue, in fact, I never spoke to anyone about such an issue (allowing models into the Rainforest). These things are done through national parks – even when applying one has to apply there not at the Ministry,” said Mr Mupazviriho.

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Mrs Chiwenga, however, expressed gratitude to the sponsors that have come through for Miss Zimbabwe Trust.

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“We are grateful to our stakeholders for the support that they have rendered to the Miss Zimbabwe Trust. They share the same vision with us that the girl child must be empowered, made independent.

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“The show that will be brought to viewers on Saturday is because of these Miss Zimbabwe Trust partners.” said Mrs Chiwenga.

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She added that she was indebted to individuals and companies that made the rest of the Miss World Zimbabwe contestants’ stay in Victoria Falls successful.

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