A NUMBER of athletes in Team Zimbabwe for the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games starting in nine days have broken camp to sit for the rescheduled Zimsec Ordinary Level English Language and Mathematics papers that were leaked a few weeks ago.
Candidates resat for English Paper 1 on Monday with Paper 2 being written today while Mathematics Paper 1 was written yesterday with Paper 2 set for tomorrow.
A visit to some of the training venues for the teams yesterday revealed that some team members had broken camp to sit for the exams.
In the men’s Under-20 football team, nine players Musa Kalombe, Denzel Khumalo, Ishmael Munsaka, Tatenda Ndlovu, Learnmore Muyambo, Leslie Lunga, Thembelethu Mthunzi, Bukhosi Ncube and Spencer Ngwerume are the players that are sitting for the rescheduled papers.
The 11 remaining players are training at Gifford High School.
Assistant coach Gift Kagogoda yesterday said the players who had broken camp would be back by Friday to join the rest of the team.
“It is beyond our control,” Kagogoda said.
“It is a problem but there is nothing we can do.”
Manager Charles Mukoronda said despite the setback they were hopeful of getting gold in the games.
“We are targeting gold under the circumstances,” he said.
“These are rescheduled examinations and there is nothing we can do. We can’t stop them (the players) from going to write.
“These are public examinations. The large contingent of our players is here in Bulawayo from Bantu Rovers.
“They are PSL players and they are our strength and we have maximised our efforts. We have also worked to eradicate age cheating and the average age of our players is 16.”
The players that are in and trained at Gifford yesterday morning are Bukhosi Sibanda, Kelvin Shangwa, James Munzira, Mathias Chodeva, Anelka Chivandire, Thomas Kadayaridzire, Tatenda Muringani, Trevor Zidoro, Fadzai Rukwanda and Lenon Bvochora.
In the women’s team, those affected by the exams are — Polite Mahada, Felistus Muchekenya, Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Privilege Mupeti, Nhlanhla Vela, Ethel Chinyerere and Mitchelle Banda.
Coach Sithethelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda said: “One way or the other it is a disruption tactically. We might have given them individual programmes to keep fit, but tactfully they will be low. We hope as they come through we will incorporate them.
“As a home team, we want to play and go all the way to the final although most of our players are lacking in international exposure than their counterparts from South Africa and Namibia.”
At the Bulawayo Municipal Sports Club, it was the men and women’s basketball teams and they too have not been spared by the leaked exams saga as six from the women’s team Isabel Sibindi, Brandina Muleya, Christel Nyauchi, Cynthia Mambo, Itai Kuwodza and Mutsa Chiromo left camp on Sunday.
In the men’s team, those that left for the examinations are Watinda Mukukuna, Kudakwashe Nyamuchengwa, Hilton Kwanga and Brian Murinyengwe.
Women’s assistant coach Mxolisi Ndlovu said: “It is obviously going to be a challenge, but it is beyond us. We just work on what we have. It will affect us in terms of cohesion. But what we want to do is to finish on a high note.”
Giants in basketball are Angola and Mozambique.
The netball team, training at the Bulawayo Polytechnic yesterday, also did not have Sharon Bwanali and Salma Danhajo who are expected to join the rest of the team on Friday and assistant coach Simbarashe Mlambo said they were aiming for gold in the games.
“The preparations have been good,” he said.
“We had one or two injuries, but those two girls are back. We are, however, crippled by the Zimsec issue as goal shooter Sharon is expected back on Friday. We are going for gold.
“South Africa has been dominating, but we will use home advantage and give them a good run for their money.
“We are not going to accept anything short of victory. What we just pray for is professional officiating.”