By Tafadzwa Zimoyo and Munyaradzi Doma
Big Time Strategic Group Zimbabwe has pulled off the plug on the sponsorship for Miss Tourism Zimbabwe amid some differences between the two organisations.
Last year, Big Time Strategic Group Zimbabwe sponsored the beauty pageant from stage work to some of the prizes, which was described as a first in modelling history to have such a world class event.
In an interview spokesperson for Big Time Strategic Group Zimbabwe Alson Darikayi confirmed the latest development. “It’s official, yes Big Time Strategic Group has withdrawn their support and sponsorship.
“I may not want to get into full details of pulling out but I can confirm that it is correct, Big Time Strategic Group has pulled out, as we have terminated the relationship,” he said.
Darikayi, former Miss Tourism Zimbabwe spokesperson said everything was done in good faith and both parties had agreed on the developments. “However I can tell you that among other reasons is what I would call irreconcilable differences, issues that could not be resolved.
There are quite a number of issues involved. “We want to say that we could not jeopardize the personal brand of the sponsor Justice Maphosa.
The sponsor felt that the issues of conflict at hand and the disagreements at hand may cause damage to his brand, so he took a decision,” he said.
Asked to comment on whether the issues involved misappropriation of funds by organisers of MTZ, Darikayi could not deny or confirm. “I said there were irreconcilable differences. Issues where both parties failed to reach a consensus on some issues,” he said.
However, there has been some speculations that Big Time Strategic Group will be sponsoring the Miss World Zimbabwe pageant this year. “I’m aware of that for now. All I know is Maphosa has been in talks with organisers of both pageants since last year, I would not be surprised if he is to sponsor the Miss World Zimbabwe.
“He has always said that he does not seem like he is sponsoring one pageant in favour of the other or to cause division and his desire was to see the country having one big pageant, one brand. “So I can tell you that I would not be surprised to see him sponsoring the Miss World Zim pageant or other pageants,” Darikayi said.
Contacted to comment on allegations that Big Time Strategic Group had pulled sponsorship owing to misappropriation of funds, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Dr Walter Mzembi whose wife Barbra is the patron said “it’s not true, it’s smear campaign”.
He could not say more after adding that they were at loggerheads with another publication over a similar story. The Herald