REGIONAL sporting giants South Africa and Angola jetted into Bulawayo yesterday afternoon for the sixth edition of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games.
The games start in the city tomorrow after the official opening by President Robert Mugabe at Barbourfields Stadium.
Teams Angola and South Africa arrived at Joshua Mqabuko International Airport yesterday afternoon while some members of both teams were expected in the country later in the day.
Regional organising committee secretary-general Mvuzo Mbebe also arrived in the country yesterday afternoon.
Local organising committee chairperson Khonzani Ncube yesterday said they were expecting most of the countries to arrive.
“South Africa and Angola are here and another South African contingent is arriving this evening (last night),” she said.
“We are expecting Malawi to arrive through Beitbridge border post today (yesterday) while Namibia should arrive through Plumtree border post later today (yesterday).
“Zambia should be coming either today (yesterday) or first thing tomorrow (today).
“Swaziland and Lesotho are arriving through Beitbridge today (yesterday). Mozambique should be arriving today (yesterday) because they said they are at the Nyamapanda border post in the morning. We will be ready to receive them anytime.”
The LOC chairperson said they had arranged with border officials for the smooth passage of the teams.
Plumtree and Beitbridge border posts are usually congested during the festive season.
Ncube said they were due to meet Mbebe yesterday afternoon.
“Mbebe just arrived and from here (airport) he will go and have a feel of the accreditation process to see if everything is going smoothly,” she said.
“We did not have any challenges accrediting Angola. We will then have a meeting just to see if everything is ready.”
Part of the Angola delegation arrived in the country on Monday while the first contingent of the South Africans landed at Joshua Mqabuko International Airport yesterday morning.
The countries will compete in athletics, basketball, football, boxing, judo, tennis, netball and swimming sporting disciplines.
ZITF, Large City Hall, Luveve, White City and Barbourfields Stadiums, Bulawayo Athletics Club and Bulawayo Swimming Pool are the games venues.