Brenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
Repeated scandals seem to have hit the Miss Zimbabwe Trust where it matters – in the pocket. The prizeS for the current beauty queen are significantly worth less than what the claimant to the crown last year garnered before she exited the stage unceremoniously following the purported leaking of her nude pictures.
The Miss Zimbabwe Trust recently crowned Anne-Grace Mutambu as the new queen after the dethronement of Emily Kachote whose list of scandals included nude pictures circulated on social media and drunken debauchery.
This year’s handover ceremony was a low-key affair presided over by trust spokesperson Tendai Chirau, who also presented prizes to the winners.
One could not help but notice that the Miss Zimbabwe Trust downsized their prizes this year.
Mutambu was awarded a brand new Kia Picanto, 40-inch LED television set, juice blender, an African printed dress and will have her manicure and pedicure done for a year courtesy of the trust.
Chirau said US$10 000 would later be deposited into the queen’s bank account for her Miss World Beauty with a Purpose project.
Thabiso Phiri got a brand new Chevrolet Cruze while two Chevrolet Spark Lites were given to first and second runners-up. The trust also announced they would receive free fuel as well as free service for their cars courtesy of their sponsors.
Phiri got a one-year gym membership reportedly worth $1 500, jewellery worth $500, an Apple iPad and Astro phone both valued at $1 500.
The University of Zimbabwe law student had her tuition for her remaining semesters paid for, a manicure and pedicure voucher worth $1 500, a VVIP medical cover worth $20 000 courtesy of Trauma Centre.
To add on to this buffet of prizes, £2 000 was reserved for Phiri as spending money ahead of Miss World 2014.
As preparatory for Miss World, she travelled to Tanzania where she got the pleasure to represent Zimbabwe as an Ambassador for the Miss Zimbabwe Trust.
There she met diplomats and several ministers in order to “equip myself with more diplomatic skills in preparation for my ambassadorial roles”, as she put it across.
Miss Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Marry Chiwenga previously said they had big secured sponsors that believed in their cause.
“We had pledges during the Miss World Zimbabwe pageant but some of the sponsors have not honoured their promises,” said Chirau explained the reduced bounty during the handover ceremony.
But the trust is adamant that all the negative publicity around their brand has not had any negative impact as they are confident that they have handled matters professionally.
“The Miss Zimbabwe brand has not been tainted. It is perfect. If you have rules and you affect them, then I don’t see how the brand would have been tainted. Most of the comments that we are getting from people are commending us for bringing sanity to the modelling sector. Aspiring Miss World models are actually enquiring on how they may be part of the pageant. So the brand is perfect,” said Chirau.
As though bad things just love them, the new queen was mugged near her home in Cranborne a short while after her crowning. The trust says they are treating this as a kidnap attempt and have taken measures to provide security for their star.
Meanwhile, Mutambu has said that she has no skeletons in her cupboard and people can stop holding their breaths wondering what next debacle will be hitting this pageant queen.