HomeEditorial CommentIn Andrew Langa we trust!

In Andrew Langa we trust!

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WHEN the choice of Bulawayo as the host of the African Union Sports Region V Under-20 Youth Games was announced, we were all very excited, particularly at the suggestion that the games would leave us with some long-lasting benefits, among them hostels for the homeless National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students.

A total of 15 countries are expected at the biennial games and from a business point of view, this will be a big economic boon to Bulawayo in particular and Zimbabwe in general.

While the games are scheduled to take place this coming December, what is worrying is that there does not seem to be anything serious going on on the ground in terms of preparations. Indeed media reports this past week painted a dissapponting picture of the preparations. We were told there is nothing of note visible in terms of preparations.

When one juxtaposes this lack of preparations against the fact that the fiscus is stretched to the limit at present, one wonders where the money to construct the facilities, even of the barest minimum standards for the games, will come from.

Yes, local organising committee chief executive officer Henry Manzungu remains optimistic that the facilities will be in place come December. But honestly speaking Manzungu must be a worried man deep down and is just putting a gloss of paint over a horribly worrying wall! The truth of the matter is he must be getting less and less optimistic each passing day.

The paper plans and project papers may all be on the table, but these will not be the fields and tracks for the games – they are mere plans which now need to be used to build the necessary facilities for the successful hosting of the games.

There must be genuine fear in a lot of quarters, the local organising committee included, that these plans will come to nought and the best that might happen, a few months before December, is simply applying a coat of paint to existing facilities like the Kumalo Hockey Stadium, White City and Barbourfields stadiums and the hostels at places like Bulawayo Polytechnic and use these with the new facilities that we were promised falling by the wayside.

It is a familiar route, one we have been on before! Welcome to reality Manzungu and Charles Dzimba, chairman of the local organising committee. A reality they both know and are familiar with, but a reality they pray day and night should not come to be.

Our prayers are with you too! The problem is Zimbabwe has signed up to the protocols of these games as a member of the African Union, and this includes hosting the games, but the December assignment is certainly one which, the Lord willing, we would gladly pass. If only our prayers could somehow be answered and we are not nailed to the cross!

The Sport minister Andrew Langa has a mammoth assignment in this respect, of raising the millions needed to build the facilities that have been promised for the games and he will certainly be a hero, at least to future Nust students if he delivered on the promise to construct hostels for the games at the Nust campus and gives those to the university.

In the meantime mere mortals like us can only trust in Langa and the local organising committee delivering. As Dzimba says, funds will be released for the games project in stages, but there is no time frame, he says.

This is the first time I have heard of a project which does not have a time frame! The funds may come in January next year and we will build the facilities when the games have ended!

    The draw for the 2015 African Nations Cup conducted at the weekend gave Zimbabwe what appears a very favourable path to the finals which will be in Morocco. But while we are all smiles over an apparently easy draw news coming out of Harare at the same weekend, and directly linked to the 2015 finals, left a tinge of funny taste in the mouth.

The reports suggest that the Zimbabwe Football Association are playing hide and seek with national coach Ian Gorowa. In fact, we are not sure now if Gorowa is still the national coach given the reports also alleged that Zifa were no longer keen on handing Gorowa a contract, this after his loyal and sterling work with the national team at the Chan finals in South Africa at the start of the year.

It could be that Zifa, broke as the association is, are running away from the financial commitment that may go with giving Gorowa a contract, preferring a new person who can always be persuaded to work for nothing pending a contract being drawn up.

By the way what happened to the contract that Zifa, through chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, told us was being finalised a long time ago, well before last month’s Zifa elections? Or was it just another piece of campaigning?

Might Gorowa have been very correct when he alleged that Mashingaidze was being economic with the truth!

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