Miss Botswana pageant in limbo

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Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone -
There are doubts over the holding of the 2018 Miss Botswana beauty pageant after a chaotic 2017 edition, which left winners unpaid.
The pageant's organisers, the Botswana Council of Women (BCW) this week said they cannot hold another contest, when there are unresolved issues from the past edition.
In addition to the beauty queen, some service providers are unpaid, nearly one year since the event was held in Gaborone.
The BCW and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture development failed to pay for services rendered.
"Everyone knows that there are a lot of issues regarding Miss Botswana. Service providers for the last pageant have not been paid until now. The queen (winner) has also not received her dues. We cannot hold another show when there is a financial crisis," Miss Botswana coordinator, Tamati Ramatlhakwane told the media.
She said the responsible ministry had said an event management company should, instead handle the pageant. 
"The ministry had promised to assist until the show is self-sustaining, but now everything is in a mess," she said. 
The organisers said efforts to pay the service providers and the 2017 winner, Nicole Gaelebale, who made the top 40 at the Miss World pageant, are being made.
Ramatlhakwane said, just maybe, if these issues are addressed, this year's edition will be held, although it looks highly unlikely. Gaelebale and other service providers are owed nearly P700,000.
The drawn-out matter has been escalated to the Office of the President for a solution.

If there is no pageant this year, it remains unclear if Gaelebale's reign will be extended and she returns to represent the country at the 2018 Miss World.

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