MPs demand more funding for sport

In a report tabled  before Parliament, Sports and Recreation Committee chairperson Farai Jere urged government to prioritise the sprucing up of dilapidated sporting facilities.

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation has said that the proposed budget towards infrastructure development falls far short of the required amount.

In a report tabled  before Parliament, Sports and Recreation Committee chairperson Farai Jere urged government to prioritise the sprucing up of dilapidated sporting facilities.

“The Committee observes that allocations for most of the Ministry’s programmes were below their bids. In most instances, the amount allocated was so little that nothing meaningful could be achieved,” Jere said.

“As such, the Committee recommends that Treasury should consider that,where it is not possible to allocate funds as requested. The amounts allocated should at least be able to achieve a milestone towards the intended purpose.”

“The state of stadia in the country requires rehabilitation to conform to international standards to remain usable, for example the National Sports, Magamba and KhumaloStadium. These stadia have deteriorated over time and are in urgent need of renovations such as upgrading to bucket seating standards, improving infrastructure, and modernising facilities.”

He added: “Without proper rehabilitation, these stadiums may be deemed unusable for hosting major sporting events, leading to a loss of opportunities for athletes and a decline in the overall development of sports in the country.”

Jere recommended that Treasury should avail ZWL$90 billion for the rehabilitation of stadium infrastructure so that national teams can play their home matches in the country.

He said the Ministry of Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture, now a separate entity, requires additional funding for effective administration, hiring skilled staff and investing in modern infrastructure and technology to streamline operations and enhance administrative effectiveness.

“This additional funding would enable the ministry to improve its capacity for organising and supporting sports events, promoting cultural activities, and preserving national heritage,”

“It would also allow for the development of new programmes and initiatives that would benefit athletes, artists, and cultural institutions across the country.”

He also asked Treasury to reconsider what has been allocated to the arts sector.

“The budget bid for participation at international festivals, expos, and exhibitions including Suraj-Kund Crafts Mela (India), World Championships of Performing Arts (US), Africa Celebrates (Ethiopia), Paris Fashion Week (France), World Choir Games (Europe), and Miss Deaf Africa (Tanzania), was ZWL$7,9 billion against an allocation of ZWL$400 million, translating to a ZWL$7,5billion deficit.

“This not only diminishes the country's presence and impact at the global stage but also limits its ability to attract international attention and investment for local artists and cultural industries to promote Zimbabwe’s rich heritage.”

He suggested  that government provides at least half of what is being requested by the Ministry for Zimbabwe to participate at these events.

“The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board have devolved structures in all the country’s 10 provinces and they do not have office space, furniture, computers and other basic tools of trade such as operational vehicle.”

Jere said despite playing a critical role of youth development and the promotion of art, sport and culture,the Ministry of Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture continues to be underfunded.

“It is critical that our national budgeting process takes cognisance of the importance of adequately resourcing the Ministry’s programmes which impact on up to 67% of the country’s population, we implore the Executive to ensure the national budget is sport-sensitive, and prioritises the promotion of sport, arts, recreation and culture as a means to positively manage society to avoid drug and substance abuse and other social ills.”


Related Topics