The authority rebranded the pageant to Miss Tourism Zimbabwe before reverting to the original name this year.
It is evident that ZTA has run down the essence of the once prestigious pageant where only the crème de la crème of Zimbabwe’s modelling industry used to make it to the finals.
In recent years we have seen pageant winners that lack the maturity, stamina and zeal that makes one a force to reckon with on the international modelling scene.
Most of these models disappear from the public eye as soon as their reigns end.
They apparently lack vision and seem to have no passion for the modelling industry.
This has seen the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe winners failing to make a mark at international pageants where they are an embarrassment for the country.
To show how the ZTA lacks seriousness in ensuring that Zimbabwe sends the best of the best of its models, the authority recently selected representatives to three international pageants in a single local contest.
The winner of the pageant was crowned Miss Zimbabwe while the first princess was named the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe. The second princess assumed the crown of Miss Universe Zimbabwe, a clear indication that all the pageants had been grouped under one umbrella translating it into a three-in-one contest.
It does not need a modelling guru to conclude that the calibre of models going abroad with our flag lack exceptional qualities and talent, hence they are unlikely to make much impact.
Mavis Koslek, license-holder for the Miss Zimbabwe-Midlands province said that there is something wrong with the current crop of models.
“Our models lack vision and it is very worrying.
“As soon as the girls end their reign they drop the crown and leave to do something different.
“The end of one’s reign does not translate into the end of a career and I do not know why most of our models do this.”
True to Koslek’s word, besides Vanessa Sibanda, who is pursuing modelling and music in South Africa, most of the former queens have just lost track in modelling.
Lorraine Maphala is no longer modelling while Samantha Tshuma has not made her future in the industry clear after recently handing over her crown.
Cynthia Muvirimi has resumed her work as a nurse in the United Kingdom with no news on Caroline Marufu who was a teacher prior to winning the pageant in 2006.
Koslek also added that the Miss Tourism pageant lacks transparency and was prone to manipulation.
“There is no transparency and undeserving models end up walking away victors at the expense of deserving participants.
“Will such models make any mark internationally?”
She also questioned the recently held Miss Tourism question and answer segment in which all contestants were asked the same question.
But ZTA spokesperson Sugar Chagonda said they were happy with the current models, adding that they reflected what Zimbabweans are made of.
“It’s a farfetched opinion that ever since we took over there have been poor models,” said Chagonda.
“Remember how we came on board, the reason was not to win the Miss World title but the idea was to have Zimbabwe represented on the international arena.
“The girls are not taken from the ZTA but from the provinces.
“As far as we are concerned those girls have succeeded, winning is a bonus, we are happy with their performances.
“It’s a miscarriage of social justice to say ZTA has failed.” Chagonda defended the recent use of soldiers as escorts for the Miss Zimbabwe winner arguing that they would be saluting the “national queen.”