The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Disband Sports Commission - - MP

MASVINGO House of Assembly representative Jeffryson Chitando has called for the disbandment of the entire Sport and Recreation Board following mediocre performances by the country's national teams and representatives on the global stage.

Chitando said this when he gave notice to move a motion calling on the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture to come with a blueprint on how the Government intends to address the rot bedeviling local sport.

In his motion Chitando (MDC-T) said Treasury should also fund sports adequately but said the dissolution of the Sports Commission was critical as it had shown incompetence in supervising national sports associations.

Speaking in an interview, Chitando said performances by Zimbabwean teams and representatives were now a source of embarrassment.

"The poor performances by our national teams in various sporting disciplines at the international stage are embarrassing the nation and this shows the gross incompetence of the Sports Commission.

"This is also reflected in its affiliates especially Zifa that is why we are saying the ministry should dissolve the Sports Commission immediately and also come up with specific targets and mechanisms to address this rot," he said.

The legislator said in the past Zimbabwe produced renowned sportspersons like heavyweight boxer Proud "Kilimanjaro" Chinembiri, golfer Nick Price, Byron and Wayne Black in tennis while the national hockey team won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia.

"Even our national soccer team used to be a pride of the nation and was ranked in the top 10 on the continent but currently our players are finding it difficult to break into European leagues.

"The cricket team used to compete at par with the best in the world but currently standards have drastically gone down.

"In rugby our best players are opting to play for other nations and this is very worrying to some of us," Chitando said.

Chitando also said the Government had failed to realise that sport can be an industry on its own and create jobs for most of the unemployed youths.

"The Government has failed to realise that sport can be an industry and create jobs. They have not created a culture of appreciating sport starting form schools and this is what should change.

"Government should re-align its thinking and how it allocates its resources," he said.

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