By Bayethe Mhlanga
ORGANISERS of the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals have been forced to postpone the pageant’s grand finale set for Saturday night in Nyanga following a bus accident involving the 19 participants and their instructors.
Seven out of the 16 finalists were left injured in the Wednesday Vumba accident after the driver lost control of the bus which was ferrying the models.
The accident happened near Leopard Rock Hotel.
Organisers of the beauty pageant announced its postponement in a Press statement on Thursday.
“The bus that was ferrying contestants in this year’s Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals for Juliasdale, Nyanga this Saturday, was involved in an accident on its way to Eden Lodge in Vumba last night.“
The finalists were booked to spend the night in Vumba after they had aborted a trip to Chimanimani due to bad weather.
According to reports, the bus developed a mechanical problem, resulting in the bus veering off the road.
Nine finalists were injured in the accident and are admitted at Murambi Gardens Clinic in Mutare.
They are all said to be in a stable condition.
“We would like to thank the driver for his heroic efforts to control the bus. He really saved the day.
“He is also admitted at Murambi Gardens Clinic,” read the statement.
Social media platforms are abuzz with rumours, some suggesting that the participants were in serious conditions.
Event organisers have, however, disputed such rumours.
The girls who are currently admitted are Maria Makelve and Michelle Mupasi from the Midlands, Rutendo Tilda Mafuratidze (Manicaland), Rutendo Amanda Taruvinga and Grace Karimupfumbi (Masvingo), Monalisa Ellen Tafirenyika (Matebeleland North), Maureen Gondwe (Mashonaland Central), Wendy Maturi (Mashonaland Central) and Pauline Marere (Mashonaland West).
According to the Press statement, the girls are said to in shock, but stable and recovering.
“We are just waiting for the doctors to give their assessment of their conditions so we won’t comment further on that. The 10 other finalists are booked in a local hotel,” read the statement.
In light of the above, the finals which were set for this Saturday have been postponed to a date and venue later to be advised.