7 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Dreamer Mzembi to Bid for Fifa World Cup

Photo: The Vanguard
Fifa president, Sepp Blatter.

President Robert Mugabe's "best minister", Walter Mzembi, has revealed plans to bring the FIFA World Cup to Zimbabwe in 2034.

Mugabe, in rare remarks praising a member of his cabinet last month, said Mzembi was full of ideas which he never keeps in his head - however wild.

Whether or not Mzembi will still be in Cabinet by 2034, only time will tell; but he has reason to be hopeful since many of Mugabe's ministers have held their cabinet posts from independence in 1980.

The tourism and hospitality industry minister revealed his ambitious World Cup plan to Chief Mutoko, who visited him at his Harare offices on Monday.

South Africa reportedly spent $12 billion on hosting the 2010 Finals which have sparked protests in Brazil over the $13 billion spent on this year's event.

The World Cup generates about $3.5 billion in revenue with most the money going to FIFA, meaning countries host the event at a loss.

Zimbabwe is currently struggling with a faltering economy with the government unable to pay its workers and begging China for a multi-billion rescue package.

Mzembi however, said he was confident Zimbabwe would, by 2034, have the capacity to host the event.

"I spoke to FIFA president Sepp Blatter during the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa and he told me that it was possible for Zimbabwe to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup as long as we keep on having such big dreams and vision," Mzembi was reported as saying by the Herald.

"Nothing can stop us from hosting the 2034 FIFA World Cup and we are going to put our bid to host it no matter what."

Mzembi's grand plan may surprise some but, certainly, not Mugabe.

Praising his youthful minister, the veteran leader said: "I do not normally say this about my ministers but Mzembi is one of my best ministers ... full of brilliant ideas that do not always remain in the head but take the form on action.

"Of course he has gallivanted across the world but every step he took was to make Zimbabwe better known, its people and resources and riches. Continue the good work."

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