Miss Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Marry Chiwenga claims an unnamed senior official in the modelling industry was duping models into posing undressed.
Chiwenga, who took over from the late Kiki Divaris as chairperson of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust four years ago, told the Daily News that the official was misleading Miss World Zimbabwe hopefuls into believing that indecent pictures were among the requirements of the national pageant.
“Here we are trying to hold a pageant for the nation and some people are out there to get us. Tiri kuti tirikushanda isu tichishandwa. (We think we are doing work but its vise versa”) My dream is to have a scandal-free pageant but when people start operating like that how can we move forward?
“We will not reveal the name for legal purposes but the person sits on the modelling industry board,” she said.
In a separate interview, Miss World Zimbabwe scouting administrator Christine Matambo-Tavengwa revealed how they uncovered the despicable dealings of the unnamed official.
“We had a very beautiful girl come through and after all the measurements had been taken, it was time for her to sign the contract.
“When we got to the part of indecent pictures she said she had a professional shoot taken. We then indicated that it was one of things that Miss World Zimbabwe could not be associated with and she was confused.
“The girl said her agent had specifically told her that it is a prerequisite of the national pageant to have indecent shots in her portfolio. We then decided to call the agent and confront them. The sidekick actually told us that he had been told not to put the indecent photos in the portfolios, instead the agent wanted them for personal use,” she said.
According to Chiwenga, there are people who are determined to bring down the national pageant.
You know them; they have been coming to the media with stories and are constantly attacking us. The agent in question is always the first person to criticise our efforts.
“They even formed a board that says it is going to monitor all pageants in the country. The questions you should ask is did they approach the Trust and what were they told?
“We try our best to have background checks on these girls but when you have people throwing spanners in our way, we will not go anywhere. It is like some people actually make it their job to bring the pageant down,” she said.
Chiwenga added that the aim of their detractors was to release the indecent pictures when the national queen has been crowned.
“We will be running their names in the media and they have a chance to come forward and say this girl has such and such skeletons. Why wait for the crowning? It makes the whole pageant appear like a joke, why would we as the Miss Zimbabwe Trust even want it to look like a joke?
“If there is anyone who feels that they can do a better job than us they must come forward and we will give them a chance,” said Chiwenga.
The reigning Miss Zimbabwe Annie-Grace Mutambu ascended the throne after the initial national queen Emily Tatanga Kachote had been booted out over alleged indecent pictures.
Mutambu, 19, represented Zimbabwe at the Miss World 2015 held on December 19 at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China.
Despite the brickbats coming their way, Chiwenga said the Miss Zimbabwe finals would take place at the end of July.
“We received communication from Miss World that all pageants should have been held by July 29. This then gives us ample time to plan, have background checks for a smooth flowing pageant,” she said.