Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) sponsor Bigtime Strategic Group has reportedly pulled out of the pageant.

Bigtime withdrew financial backing following “differences” over planning and alleged misappropriation of funds.

The Standard was told that the two parties’ failure to agree on a number of issues, including merging with Miss Zimbabwe as well as the alleged misuse of funds led to the unceremonious end to the one-year marriage.

“The separation is a result of differences between the pageant and the sponsor. Part of it is that the pageant refused to merge [with Miss Zimbabwe] as well as lack of order entirely,” said the source.
At the launch of this year’s edition Bigtime Strategic Group boss Justice Maphosa said the two pageants — Miss Zimbabwe and MTZ — “were talking” as they were exploring possible “synergies as to how to fuse”.
However, MTZ patron Barbara Mzembi was against the idea, leading to the collapse of the partnership.
In addition, allegations of misappropriation of funds which were downplayed early this year are believed to have fuelled the “divorce”.
When contacted for comment on Thursday evening, Mzembi could neither deny nor confirm the developments.
“It is them who are saying they were pulling out, so you need to hear from them. I cannot tell you what is happening on the other side,” she said.
However, it was established that Mzembi had sent a WhatsApp message on Thursday morning to the pageant organising committee advising them about the developments.
“Good morning committee. Regrettably, I write to inform you that Big Time Strategic Group has withdrawn their sponsorship. Their withdrawal has nothing to do with Miss Tourism Zimbabwe. Therefore, we are looking for new sponsors that would like to support this pageant,” read part of the message.