Prophet W. Magaya wins big in Daily News awards.

HARARE - One of Zimbabwe's newspaper, the Daily News, yesterday announced its 2014 annual awards winners, with Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader, Prophet Walter Magaya, walking away with the coveted Personality of the Year award.

Despite the fact that 2014 was undoubtedly one of the most difficult years Zimbabweans have had to endure since 1980, Magaya proved to a wide cross-section of the population that he was one of a few institutions and individuals that provided a rare ray of hope to many.
Magaya wins big in Daily News awards.

Personality of the year award — Walter Magaya

The young charismatic preacher managed to attract one of the largest crowds Zimbabwe has ever seen during his Night of Turnaround in November last year.

An estimated 350 000 people from all walks of life attended the conference, a feat that all the country’s stage-hungry politicians have failed to achieve over the past 35 years of Uhuru.

The well-known philanthropist also won the hearts of many Zimbabweans when he gave the late Studio 263 actress Pretty Xaba $18 000 to cater for her travel and medical bills at an Indian hospital, in addition to awarding scholarships to several orphans dotted across the country.

But despite all his good deeds, Magaya did court some controversy during the year, including facing untested allegations of adultery and seeing one of his crusades in Kwekwe ending tragically.

However, through his ministry, characterised by fervent reports of healing and miracles, he managed to turn many Zimbabweans to God.

Financial Institution of the year award — CBZ

CBZ Holdings, Zimbabwe’s largest financial services group by assets, has made significant strides in the past few years and ensured that its subsidiary, CBZ Bank, surpassed the $100 million minimum capital requirements set for 2020 by the Reserve bank in 2014.

And despite operating in a tough environment, characterised by an acute liquidity crisis and high numbers of non-performing loans, CBZ Holdings has consistently rewarded its shareholders by declaring regular dividends and making sure that cash is always readily available for its clients.

Although the financial services conglomerate recorded a 20 percent decline in profit after tax to $12,8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2014, due to a rise in expenses, CBZ Holdings capped the year by winning the Best Governed Company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Businessman of the year — Shingi Munyeza

Hotelier and businessman Shingi Munyeza made headlines last year when he clinched the Mugg and Bean, Ocean Basket and Newscafe franchises at a time when restructuring was the buzzword in the country.

It was thus fitting that Munyeza’s passion and vision to create employment in a nation that is battling a comatose economy and high unemployment, did not go unnoticed.

An accountant by training, a marketer by passion and a hotelier almost by calling, Munyeza has been instrumental in growing the pan-African hotel group, African Sun.

In 2013, he was awarded the most influential entrepreneur the country had had since independence.

Munyeza is also a recipient of the prestigious “Industry Mover and Shaker” award by the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa for 2010, for his outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry across the African continent.

In the same year, he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration and Development by Solusi University, in recognition of his immense contribution to the development of tourism in Zimbabwe and on the African continent.

He is the Institute of Directors of Zimbabwe award winner for 2008 and also won the Zimbabwe Tourism Personality of the Year for four years running from 2002 to 2005.

Businesswomen of the year award — Grace Muradzikwa and Zodwa Mkandla

Despite 2014 proving to be one of the toughest years Zimbabwe has faced, the industriousness and good leadership qualities of Nicoz Diamond managing director, Grace Muradzikwa, and Traverze Travel managing director, Zodwa Mkandla, shone like beacons under the harsh economic environment.

At a time when the local insurance industry was facing seemingly insurmountable challenges due to a tight cash squeeze, Muradzikwa bravely steered Nicoz Diamond to safety by diversifying the company into the property sector and also opening a new branch in Mozambique.

On the other hand, the maverick tourism player, Mkandla, last year made history by winning the best Travel Agent Award for a record ninth consecutive time.

Since founding Traverze in 2003, Mkandla has transformed the travel company into one of the most formidable firms in the tourism industry.

The company, which has already spread its operations into Botswana, has put in place plans to expand into other regional countries such as Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.

Woman personality of the year — Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda

Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation and, for some 20 years, an advocate on issues of women and children’s human rights — fittingly won this award.

Gumbonzvanda’s recent achievements include work on the integration of gender equality issues in the peace processes for the Sudan, Somalia and Northern Uganda, as well as a lead role in the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region that resulted in the adoption of the Protocol on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence for returnees.

Gumbonzvanda was also involved in the development of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on Women’s Rights in Africa.

In 2007, Gumbonzvanda became General Secretary of the YWCA, a global network of women and young women leading social and economic change in 125 countries.

She has also served in critical roles within the UN system, focusing on many post-crisis countries across Africa.

Minister of the year — Walter Mzembi

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi is no stranger to winning awards.

The youthful minister who has been described by President Robert Mugabe “as one of my best ministers” in the Zanu PF-led government really deserves the gong.

Despite being surrounded by decidely tired and clueless colleagues — and a Cabinet collective that analysts say is one of the worst to come out of Zimbabwe — Mzembi stood out of the madding crowd for his productiveness and innovation.

Faced with a meagre budget to market Zimbabwe, the Tourism minister still made the right noises last year and vociferously made brand Zimbabwe visible on the international market.

Through Mzembi’s hard work, Zimbabwe was last year awarded two awards by the ETTC, a private Romania-based organisation with interest in tourism and which brings together tourism-related organisations from 27 European countries.

Tourism personality of the year — Karikoga Kaseke

The strong-willed Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, is a hands-on man.

Notwithstanding the fact that he is a regulator, Kaseke, with his team, deserve praise for working so hard to revive the country’s tourism sector.

After realising that Zimbabwe was losing a lot of revenue due to lack of tourists in the country, Kaseke has gone on a successful soft diplomatic offensive — and his efforts are slowly paying off.

Last year, the sector brought close to $1 billion in tourism receipts.

Through his dedication and commitment to the industry, Kaseke personally negotiated with Egypt Air to review its decision to withdraw from Zimbabwe.

Parastatal of the year — Tel One

Zimbabwe’s sole fixed telecommunications company, Tel One, is slowly emerging out of the woods under the leadership of Chipo Mtasa.

The company was drowning in debt and lacked the expertise to bring new products on the market in line with its competitors, but over the last year Tel One has recovered $100 million from debtors that has improved its working capital position, and is already expecting a four percent growth in revenue in 2015.

For a company that was fighting to stay relevant in the digital age, Mtasa has made sterling efforts to ensure that Tel One remains focused on network expansion, while improving client services systems and expanding broadband connectivity.

The State-owned company is also planning to expand its fibre access to homes and a Tel One Data Centre that could see it dabbling in things like software development and test platforms, as well as hosting services — in line with international trends.

Arts promoter of the Year - Biggie Chinoperekwei

National Arts Merit Award (Nama) 2013 Arts Promoter of the Year, Biggie Chinoperekwei, is a most deserving 2014 Arts Promoter of the Year after he successfully staged more than 2 000 shows. Through his Devine Assignments, Chinoperekwei co-ordinated music concerts, music album launches, birthday celebration bashes, commemorations, pole dancing, modelling, DJ clashes and dance showcases.

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