MANICALAND did not come back empty handed at the annual Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce national awards held last Thursday in Victoria Falls at the Elephant Hills Hotel.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, Africa University and Chimanimani businessman come politician Joshua Sacco hailed the province high after they won top awards against stiff competition from other regions.
The diamond Company ZCDC won the Sustainability Development Goal champion award for its increasing efforts towards community development and corporate social responsibility projects since its takeover of the country’s diamond mining concerns in 2016. The Midlands based giant Mimosa Mining Company was the runner-up.
The United Methodist related pan-African university, Africa University, won the best tertiary institution award ahead of Midlands State University, whilst Sacco scooped the Rural Businessperson award which saw Tinashe Mangisi emerge as the runner-up. Sacco who is contesting as a Zanu-PF candidate for Chimanimani East as a Member of Parliament in the forthcoming harmonised elections joined the bandwagon of rural Manicaland businesspeople that have over the years literally made it a must to bring home the award, which has become more of a tradition to win for Manicaland.
In other categories the Wimpy Mutare franchise holder, which is also the only one left in Zimbabwe, Rachel Mugwagwa, came close to winning after she came out first runner-up in the Businesswoman award category which was won by Mother Touch Group of Schools founder Salome Mutsinze. Mugwagwa of Rateable Investments that owns various business entities in Mutare with the latest being a hotel in the central business district of Mutare, Manica Skyview Hotel (former Mountview Hotel), that recently opened its doors , was an inch from following the footsteps Rusape’s Molly Mupfunya that wrote her own history at last year’s ZNCC national awards, when she became the first Manicaland recipient of the Businesswoman of the year award.
The Milestone Group of Schools founding director, Mupfunya, along with ZNCC past national president Hlanganiso Matangaidze who won the national Businessman award in 2006, stand as the only Manicaland based businesspeople to win the top awards at national level.
The chief executive officer of ZCDC, Dr Moris Mpofu scored a double for the diamond company after he received the first runner-up Business Leadership award, a category which was however won by Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe managing director Wellington Makamure.
Though he seemed like a strong title runner because of his inspiring story of turning his Eat n’ Lick fast food franchise into a leading competitor growing its footprint countrywide, the founder Isaiah Musabayana, who hails from Manicaland was however unfortunate on the night as he went down to Midlands province’s Rangarirai Mavhunga and Solomon Matsa who eventually won the Businessman award and runner-up respectively.
ZNCC Manicaland region and Chiredzi manageress Pepetual Guwila said it was good to always have national winners, a sign that there was still noteworthy business activity in her region.
She said other nominees which they also nominated at regional level but have countrywide operations were Econet, TelOne and Agribank, which bagged the ICT award, Public Enterprise award and first runner-up Financial Institution Supporting Micro and Small to Medium Enterprises award respectively.
The guest of honour was the Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga. Guwila said throughout the ZNCC congress which ran from last Wednesday to Friday, ZNCC leadership and delegates stressed the need for policy consistency on the part of government whilst government pinned on industry and the general public to have good faith and support government economic reforms to achieve desired goals.