Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE 2017 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual business awards for Matabeleland region have been characterised by surprises as the event saw over 20 first time winners scooping prizes.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi was the guest of honour at the colourful ceremony, which attracted the presence of many business executives.
The awards ceremony, which had 22 categories, was held in Bulawayo on Friday night under the theme, “Steering Zimbabwe Towards Enterprise Development, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Sustainable growth”. Some of the ZNCC award first time winners from the region included Fortwell Wholesalers who were the first runner-up in the best corporate social responsibility category. Ramjis was named the winner in the lifetime achievement award category while Fawcett Security was the second runner-up in the same category.
The winners walked away with certificates of excellence, trophies and shields. Financial services and insurance company, FBC MicroPlan, which is owned by FBC Holdings, was named the first runner-up in the enterprise development support while Untu Capital, also a microfinance institution, emerged the second runner up in the same category. Oceans Foods was named the winner in the entrepreneur of the year category while Progress Mine was the first runner-up and MoB Capital Limited was second runner-up.
The small to medium enterprise of the year award went to Solatek with The Place/Vivo and Millenium Footwear scooping the first and second-runners-up prizes in the same category. The businessman of the year award went to Mr Phathisani Nkomo of Zara Lounge, while Mr Philip Ndlovu of PNA Chartered Accountants and Mr Sifiso Moyo of Real Stake trading as Suta Suta scooped first and second runners-ups respectively in the same category. Oakleigh House School in Beitbridge owner Mrs Sikhathele Musakwa was crowned businesswoman of the year and the coveted overall businessperson of the year award for the Matabeleland region. Other categories of the event also included the exporter of the year (agriculture), exporter of the year consumptive tourism, exporter of the year (manufacturing), exporter of the year (mining), best bank supporting SMEs, tertiary institution of the year, ICT company of the year, and constructor of the year.