BY Obey Manayiti
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on both his government and the private sector to inject more resources to support sport.
Mnangagwa was addressing youths at a symposium where he called upon Sports minister Kirsty Coventry to demand more funding from Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
He said he wanted to see government establishing sports academies throughout the country in aid of sports development as is the case in other countries.
After noting that in other countries there was a lot of financial support for sport from the private sector, he said there should be mechanisms in place to persuade companies to fund sport.
He expressed concern that some of the national teams failed to fulfil fixtures because of lack of funding, while others ventured into money spinning matches and tournaments without adequate preparation due to a lack of resources.
“I think that it is necessary that government should do more in supporting sport. I have known occasions where our teams wanting to go outside don’t have funding to travel and they don’t have enough financial support even during preparation,” Mnangagwa said.
“In other countries, the private sector supports sport in a huge way. In Zimbabwe, this has not happened to a great extent, but I believe that my minister (Coventry) here should be able to punch the Finance minister (Ncube) to support more sport so that we have sports academies financed by the State. The private sector should be persuaded to supports sport.”
In 2017, the government, through Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, had to come to the aid of Zifa, which was struggling to pay bonuses and allowances for the Warriors who were bound for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Over the years, several national teams in other disciplines have struggled to fulfill fixtures outside the country due to lack of money.
In other countries, however, the government takes full responsibility of national teams.
In Zimbabwe, there is limited or no government support for national teams while the private sector is also struggling to finance sport due to tough economic conditions.