AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Chikoko jets in for basketball qualifiers

basketball senior men’s captain Vitalis Chikoko .

FRANCE-BASED Zimbabwe basketball senior men’s captain Vitalis Chikoko is expected to arrive in the country today for the Afro-basket/AfroCan qualifiers which start in Bulawayo on Monday.

The competition, which has attracted five countries, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and hosts Zimbabwe, will run at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)’s Hall 4 and will end on February 28.

Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president Joe Mujuru yesterday confirmed that Chikoko, who plays for Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez in the French Pro A, will be in the country today.

“The captain of the senior men’s national team Vitalis Chikoko is expected in the country by tomorrow and that speaks of the confidence in the team. You know he has been an MVP (most valuable player) in France and he has also played in Germany and he is doing extremely well right now. Under his capable leadership, we are going to do well. In 2019, we beat Mozambique for the first time since Independence and we are confident that under him we will qualify for Rwanda,” Mujuru said.

South Africa has pulled out of the tournament, while Angola will only bring in a lady’s team and Malawi the men’s team.

“Unfortunately, there has been a development in the past two or so days; South Africa has pulled out their team from the competition owing to reasons known to them but we are informed that it might be due to resources. All the same, the competition goes ahead with the five confirmed teams,” Mujuru said.

He added: “Team Zimbabwe is in Harare. We are expecting them to make their way to Bulawayo tomorrow (today). Work has started at the ZITF. The terracing and the floors are being done and we are expecting the venue to be ready by tomorrow. The local organising committee has been doing an excellent job and we are grateful to them. In terms of preparations, we are above 75% and ready for the event to start.”

A trial run on the venue will be carried out today, with the Bulawayo Basketball League playing at the venue.

Mujuru appealed to the private sector to support the event, which he says perpetuates sports tourism as the competition is attracting people from 10 African countries that include match officials coming from Kenya, Tunisia and Botswana.

“We are looking at attracting well over 10 countries. This is to emphasise the point that this contributes towards sports tourism which is going to impact the Bulawayo community. We are talking Brand Zimbabwe, Brand Bulawayo and Brand BUZ and also spreading that word that Zimbabwe is a safe destination for all our would-be visitors,” he said.

Zimbabwe successfully hosted the same tournament in 2015 at the ZITF.

Related Topics