13 January 2012

Zambia: Kambwili's Game

NEWLY appointed Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili has vowed to revamp sports in the country saying he has never, in his life, started a crusade and failed.

Kambwili said in an interview yesterday, he would engage mining companies on the Copperbelt to embrace social amenities like sports, much the same way the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) did before them.

President Michael Sata yesterday transferred Kambwili from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Sport replacing Fackson Shamenda who has moved to the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Broadcasting Services, which was held by Given Lubinda who has gone to the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Roan Member of Parliament (MP) said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government knew how much sport meant to the Zambian people and would thus do everything possible to ensure the sector is revamped.

" We have not done very well in sports but watch this space. The PF Government will not sit and watch sports standards continue going down," he said.

The minister, who is also in charge of Labour, also implored sports associations to work closely with schools in order to develop a nursery among the pupils, saying the children need to be groomed knowing that.

Kambwili said his immediate task would be to further cement the relationship between the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in a bid to restore a good working relationship between the two bodies.

FAZ were in fact the first association to welcome Kambwili's appointment on their twitter account saying, "Congratulations new Minister of Sports - Chishimba Kambwili.

Welcome honourable we are extremely happy and we look forward working with you."

The new minister also bemoaned the state of Nkana and Mufulira Wanderers football clubs, despite being laden with part of Zambia's rich football history and implored Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to do something about the state of affairs at the two sports facilities.

Kambwili added that the infrastructure that was put up by ZCCM on the Copperbelt is in a dilapidated state and that he would engage the new mine owners to revamp it if the region was to retain its status as the hub of sports in the country.

Also on his to-do list would be to erase the approach of negating at some sports disciplines as being minor compared to others, saying his ministry would give equal attention to all disciplines in the quest to bring glory to Zambia.

Kambwili replaces Fackson Shamenda who recently took over Zambia's chairmanship of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Council of ministers ahead of the under-20 Games scheduled for Lusaka in September.

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