18 August 2005

Zimbabwe: Govt Gives Warriors Residential Stands

Harare — The Government has recognised the Warriors' recent triumph in the Cosafa Castle Cup final by offering 18 residential stands to the players.

The Deputy Minister of Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Morris Sakabuya said the stands would be allocated to the players.

Zifa immediately said only deserving Warriors would be considered.

Sakabuya said his ministry would facilitate the players to get stands from urban centres of their choice under the ongoing Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle.

Speaking at a brief ceremony at his offices yesterday, Sakabuya said the 1-0 win over Zambia had made the nation proud.

"The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development is proud to join the rest of the nation in congratulating the Warriors for winning the 2005 Cosafa Castle Cup.

"As a token of appreciation, my ministry will facilitate you to obtain stands in urban centres of your choice where we are carrying out housing projects," said Sakabuya.

The Deputy Minister said the players should approach his ministry to get offer letters which they would then take to the local authorities.

"You should, at a time convenient to you, approach our department of housing at the head office to obtain a letter of introduction which you will take to the authorities in the urban centres of your choice where we are carrying out projects.

"Through this address, officers responsible are hereby directed to assist with the allocation of stands under Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle," he said.

By winning the Cosafa Cup, Sakabuya said, the Warriors had brought pride to the whole nation.

"You (the players) have emerged as the true ambassadors of the country.

"We are informed that one of you even volunteered to sing the national anthem alone and raise our national flag in the time of need.

"That demonstrated your patriotism and willingness to raise our flag high even under difficult circumstances."

A CD copy of the Zimbabwe national anthem could not play before the semi-final against Angola and midfielder Ashley Rambanapasi took the microphone to sing "Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe" alone.

Zifa acting chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said it did not mean that each and every player who was in South Africa at the weekend was guaranteed a stand.

He said only players who do not own residential property should be helped by the Government for now.

"The ministry has allocated 18 stands but I must point out that we will look at the deserving cases.

"These stands came after winning the Cosafa Castle Cup but we should bear in mind that there are other players who took part in earlier rounds and need to be considered too.

"We should look at the whole pool of players in the Warriors squad to see those who really need stands.

"It is important to note that the World Cup/Nations Cup qualifiers should be considered again," said Mashingaidze.

He said Zifa were hopeful that the Government would allocate more stands if the Warriors qualified for the Nations Cup and the World Cup in 2006.

"Shelter is one of the basic necessities for human beings and the Government has thrown a lifeline to the players.

"Other nations have done the same to the people who make this beautiful game enjoyable and I am sure that a lot more stands will be made available if we qualify for the Nations Cup finals," he said.

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