Miners rule the roost at 2023 ZNCC Manicaland business awards

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Miners rule the roost at 2023 ZNCC Manicaland business awards

Betterbrands executive personnel receiving the Businessman of the Year award on behalf of their boss Scott Sakupwanya who was not around to attend the event in person.

…Nash Paints boss Mutarisi encourages businesspeople to persevere against any obstacles

Ngoni Dapira

MANICALAND businesspeople were encouraged to remain optimistic regardless of the incumbent economic challenges and continue to be innovative to remain operational.

This was said last week Friday during the 2023 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) business awards for the Manicaland chapter held at Holiday Inn hotel in Mutare. The annual awards saw some new faces stepping up and some of the old guards in business finally getting rewarded after years of playing second fiddle. It was however a big night for the gold mining sector, just to show how the mining sector is now the leading cash cow in the country even for small scale miners.

The 2023 ZNCC Manicaland Businesswoman of the Year winner Judith Shadaya (centre) celebrates after receiving the top accolade last week Friday at the annual business awards held in Mutare.

The director of the gold mining concern Betterbrands Jewellery, Scott Sakupwanya and the farmer turned gold miner Judith Shadaya were the biggest winners of the night after scooping the Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year accolades respectively. Betterbrands Jewellery which was established over a decade ago in Harare but now has  a vast network of small to medium sized gold mines in Zimbabwe, started mining some of the gold mining claims under Redwing Mine in Penhalonga in 2021. Redwing Mine is currently under judicial management.

In January Betterbrands was granted a licence by government to build Zimbabwe’s second gold refinery in Bulawayo. The refinery expected to be operational this year will be operated by Betterbrands, which is reportedly the biggest gold-buying company in country at the moment after it delivered more than 52 percent of the 35 tonnes delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners last year (18 tonnes of the yellow metal).

Shadaya on the other hand finally gets her chance as the top business winner after she was second runner-up in 2019, just to prove how hard work pays off eventually and never goes unnoticed. Her remarkable story of starting her own business empire after hitting hard times when her husband and son died after a car accident in 2009 is awe inspiring. Although she is still a small scale gold miner, and is currently the Zimbabwe Miners Federation chairperson for Manicaland, she now has several gold mining claims in Odzi, Nyanga, Penhalonga and Chegutu, and  has since found a new passion in mining.

ZBC acting director TV and Digital Platforms Merit Munzwembiri (centre).

Speaking on behalf of the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC), who was the guest of honour, ZBC acting director TV and Digital Platforms Merit Munzwembiri urged local bussinesspeople to be innovative in the wake of increasing trade competitiveness in the ever-changing global village era. “In today’s rapidly changing global economy, the ability to transform economic realities into market opportunities is critical for success. However, even in the face of these challenges, there are opportunities to be found. By transforming economic realities into market opportunities, we can create new value, build resilience and drive growth in the Zimbabwean economy,” she said.

Adding,” However, to transform economic realities into market opportunities, we need a comprehensive strategy that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities facing Zimbabwe. This strategy should focus on several key areas, including infrastructure development, regulatory reform, education and training, and public-private collaboration.”

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokhuthula Matsikenyeri, the director in her office, Engineer Timothy Rukuni said businesspeople must be able to access opportunities without any limitations so that the province unleashes all its energy to create a better and prosperous Zimbabwe. “To all the industrious women and men here I just want to remind you that when we say ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ or in this case ‘Manicaland is open for business’, this does not only apply to foreign investment but to you as well,” he said.

Adding,” I must also note that critical to the success of your business ventures will be access to markets and as your representative in government in Manicaland I will ensure that all possible ventures will be availed to you. As government, we will do whatever is necessary so that we can create a middle income economy by 2030 as espoused by our President, His Excellency Dr E.D Mnangagwa.”

Tinashe Mutarisi (right) and his wife (left) presenting the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award to Chipo Nujoma.

The executive chairman of the paint manufacturing giant, Nash Paints Holdings, Tinashe Mutarisi who was also invited as a guest speaker and received a special recognition award said running a business in not a walk in the park and applauded everyone recognized on the night to walk tall as winners. He shared his recent experience of losing property and raw materials worth millions which were gutted in a fire. The Nash Paints factory in Graniteside was destroyed by fire early last month.

“I am really honoured to be here with you in Manicaland. For those that know me I recently lost property worth about US$1.6 million at my factory. Its been hard but I am pushing on. Tonight I however want to give credit to my wife that has been my pillar of support. I am here with her, she supported me from the start when I had nothing and uptodate she still stands by me. You are a superstar,” said Mutarisi as he encouraged businesspeople to persevere against any obstacles that may come their way.

The top winners from Manicaland will compete for the national title at the ZNCC annual congress slated from 28 to 30 June in Victoria Falls.

Below is the full list of winners at the 2023 ZNCC Manicaland awards:


Businessman of the Year

Winner – Scott Sakupwanya (Better Brands)

1st Runner Up- Resistance Mundembe

2nd Runner Up – Jonah Dhlakama


Businesswoman of The Year

Winner – Judith Shadaya (Shadta Mining)

1st Runner Up – Patience Puwai (Denhigh Investments)


Lifetime Achievement

Winner – Gwinyai Mutsongodza (First Class Academy)

1st Runner Up -Tendai Dumbura (Tintys Hardware)

2nd Runner Up – Isaiah Musabayana (Eat n Lick)


Sustainable Development Goals Award

Winner – Plan International

1st Runner Up – Mercy Corps


Best Emerging Business

Winner – Princeton Institute

1st Runner Up – Murare Car Rental


Best Innovation

Winner- Verify Engineering

1st Runner Up – Ecocash Holdings


Tertiary Institution

Winner – Mutare Teachers College

1st Runner Up – Africa University

2nd Runner Up – Mutare Polytechnic


Financial Institution Supporting MSME

Winner – AFC Commercial Bank

1st Runner Up – ZB Bank

2nd Runner Up – CBZ Bank


Young Entrepreneur

Winner – Chipo Nunjoma (Aloe Enterprise)

1st Runner Up – Tinotenda Maruni (KMP)


Rural Businessperson

Winner – Noah Taguta (St Noah Projects)


Agriculture Exporter

Winner – Tanganda Tea Company Pvt Ltd

1st Runner Up – Eastern Highlands Plantations

2nd Runner Up – Allied Timbers


Manufacturing Exporter

Winner – Manica Boards and Doors Pvt Ltd

1st Runner Up – Border Timbers Limited

2nd Runner Up – Capital Timbers



Winner – ZCDC

1st Runner Up – Anjin Investments



Winner – Troutbeck Resort

1st Runner Up – Holiday Inn Mutare


Outstanding Urban Local Government

City of Mutare

Rusape Town Council

Chipinge Town Council


Outstanding Rural Local Government

Mutasa RDC

Chipinge RDC

Buhera RDC


Entrepreneur of the year

Winner – Moses Mwagura

1st Runner Up – Blessing Mangwiro

2nd Runner Up – Edmore Chipere


Commitment to the Community (Health and Safety)



High Growth Business of the year

Winner – Mega Market

1st Runner Up – Willowton Group


Business Leader of the year

Engineer Pedzi Tapfumaneyi (Verify Engineering)

Blessing Chafesuka (City of Mutare)

Professor Peter Mageto (AU)

Wilson Masokowere (Destiny of Africa Network)


Corporate Social Responsibility

Winner – ZCDC

1st Runner Up – Betterbrands Holdings

2nd Runner Up – DANET

Special Recognition – Dave Munos Foundation


Zimbabwe Most Influential Entrepreneur

Tinashe Mutarisi (Nash Paints)

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