Dube, nice to donate but do it for national teams too

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Tshinga Dube

THE Highlanders Football Club bus donation by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Makokoba by-election candidate Tshinga Dube on Saturday in Bulawayo is one event that could have hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons given the way it was handled.

Highlanders’ fans were uneasy over the involvement of Mnangagwa to hand over the bus that was reportedly bought a long time ago. Given that Barbourfields is in Makokoba constituency, Dube could have seen an opportunity to ramp up his campaign by roping in Mnangagwa for the final leg of his campaign.

The result was to use Highlanders fans as bait for the make-or-break vote for Dube tomorrow. Mnangagwa is also the patron of FC Platinum.

However, the bus is a welcome development for Highlanders as it adds to their asset base which includes a town office, sports club and a camping house. So if it meant they have to benefit from gullible politicians to get the bus to Bulawayo, then so be it.

colonel tshinga dube 1

Highlanders fans must take this as a positive development notwithstanding the fact that politicians have selfish agendas. Other clubs don’t have such kind of assets, including the biggest and most successful club in Zimbabwe, Dynamos, which does not even have an office, let alone a bus as it is argued that the one they currently use belongs to one of their sponsors — Nyaradzo Funeral Service.

Highlanders must therefore be commended for putting their prize money to good use by investing in something they can call their own. The smaller bus they have can now be used by their junior teams while the club will now cut down on hiring transport for away matches.

The world over it is difficult for politicians to stay away from sports because of the crowds drawn especially to football.
Ex-Zanu PF political commissar and ICT minister Webster Shamu is Dynamos patron, and the league champions also count Local Government minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo in their ranks.

emmerson mnangagwa (3)

Past Zifa leaders have also had ruling party links. Leo Mugabe was a Zanu PF MP in Makonde, Rafik Khan once acted as Zanu PF Harare provincial executive during his time at Zifa, Mavis Gumbo is a Zanu PF official who lost a bid to represent the party in tomorrow’s by-election in Harare East and Wellington Nyatanga was known to hob-nob with ruling party politicians.

World football governing body Fifa has frantically tried to keep politicians out of football without success, especially in Africa where football is seriously underfunded by governments. It is an established fact that when governments fund the game, they want to place people in leadership positions to safeguard their interests.

Yet, it is only noble for politicians to stay away from sport as for time and again, they have used it for selfish reasons. They have really done nothing in terms of investing in the sport, let alone forcing government to realise that sport is an industry capable of creating employment for millions of people.

The senior national team, the Warriors, are yet to go into camp for next Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match against Malawi, the hockey team pulled out of the Olympic qualifiers in Egypt due to lack of funding and the national cricket team had to undertake a risky, but high-paying trip to Pakistan, all because there is no money for sport. But, politicians speak the loudest when national teams are failing to bring results.