City of Harare failed to act on the residents’ demand for the local authority to order the reduction of the Harare City FC travelling party to Madagascar.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the petition which was presented to his office by Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) only came after council had made financial commitments that could not be reversed, thus the traveling list could not be altered.
The football team is expected to leave today for their Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round second round qualifier carrying a 3-2 advantage from the first leg played in Harare two weeks ago.
A total of 43 people were on the list travelling to Madagascar with 18 players among them.
Five coaches that include two goalkeepers’ coaches were on the list together with three medical personnel, an interpreter, kit manager, team manager, media officer and several council representatives that include the deputy mayor.
Manyenyeni responded to the CHRA petition through a letter which was seen by NewsDay Sport acknowledging the complaints that had been raised by the residents, but also submitting that it was too late to cut on the travelling party.
“While I accept the relevance of your submissions, it is with regret that the team cannot reduce the size of the delegation at this late hour because of the financial commitments already made,” read the letter.
“I commit the team’s management to a process of review in order to confirm the most acceptable travel arrangements for all future local and external soccer ties.
I consider your petition respectable, but, through no fault of yours, and in respect of cutting the Madagascar delegation, it is belated.”
Manyenyeni further invited CHRA boss Simbarashe Moyo to discuss the matter and noted that it was “pertinent to advise that the day-to-day management of the team’s finances is separated from council after their allocation of their annual team budget”.
CHRA yesterday said although Manyenyeni’s response was not exactly what they were looking for, they were glad “that movement has been made by way of allowing CHRA to play a watchdog role on the operations of the club given that it uses ratepayers’ money to function”.