ZIMBABWE’S World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion, Charles Manyuchi is yet to receive the residential stand promised to him by the Harare City Council in honour of his exploits in the ring.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Manyuchi successfully defended his WBC international welterweight title for the second time after pummeling Gianluca Freeza of Italy into submission halfway through their 12-round bout in July.
His first defence was against Colombian Devis Caceres, whom he floored in the second round in November 2014.
In recognition of his achievements, which have put Zimbabwean boxing on the world map the Harare City Council pledged to give him, a residential stand in one of the city’s low-density suburbs.
The pledge came a few days after President Robert Mugabe honoured Manyuchi at a banquet held at State House, where he gave the boxer $50 000 in August for flying the national flag high.
However, five months after Harare City Council made the promise, Manyuchi told NewsDay Sport yesterday that he is yet to get the reward despite several attempts to meet with the council authorities.
“Since hearing about the pledge, which was also widely publicised in the papers I have been trying to engage the Harare City Council officials, but without any success,” he said in an interview yesterday.
“I have spent over $500 in transport costs travelling from Chivhu to Harare to enquire about the stand, but nothing concrete is yet to come out, as they have not been forthcoming. The sad part is that some of the officials, who I was told would be handling the issue, have been playing hide and seek, but I hope they let me know the way forward,” he said.
This is in spite of Harare City Council’s promise, coming during a full council meeting in August, where Rugare and Lochinvar councillor, Peter Moyo said Manyuchi’s achievements were a source of pride for the country and the pugilist needed to be recognised.
“We must give him something special, a residential stand in a medium or low-density suburb will do to honour him as a sports ambassador,” the councillor said.
“The previous council gave Comrades Marathon multiple winner Stephen Muzhingi a residential stand for his exploits. We must be seen to be supporting sport.”
Majubheki Mbare councillor, Martin Matinyanya, supported the proposal.
Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, who was part of the meeting, reportedly concurred with the contributions and asked corporate services and housing director, Josephine Ncube to implement the council resolution.
However, five months down the line council is yet to honor their promise to Manyuchi.
City council spokesperson, Michael Chideme said they were still looking for suitable land for Manyuchi.
Manyuchi, who is now based in Chivhu, where he bought two houses from part of the $50 000 he received from Mugabe last year, said he was in the process of finalising his next move after his contract with Oriental Quarries of Zambia expired in November.
The 26-year-old, who has attracted the interest of American and Namibian boxing promoters, said he was hoping his next fight would be on home soil.
“When I met the president I made a promise that my next fight would be here in Zimbabwe and as soon as I finalise my next move I will fulfill that promise,” he said.