HARARE – Parliamentarians have expressed concern over the ministry of sports’ initiative to spend $46 million for next year’s Zone VI Youth Games at a time there are other pressing issues bedevilling major sports in Zimbabwe.
Speaking on Thursday during a portfolio committee meeting to familiarise legislators with the newly created Sports ministry, chairperson of the committee, Temba Mliswa, felt there are more pertinent issues in desperate need of attention before a huge sum of money, the biggest budget in the history of Zimbabwean sport, can be poured into a low profile youth tournament.
“There are squabbles in sports associations such as Zifa,” said the outspoken legislator before speaking at length on other problems besieging other sports associations in the country.
“We have sports like cricket and rugby where they is no money. Yet we are rushing to construct buildings (for the Zone VI Youth Games) that are likely to be white elephants soon,” Mliswa bemoaned.
“The 1995 All Africa Games is an example where government poured money, but what has happened to those facilities? We have the Sports Recreation Commission. What is their role in sport?” questioned Mliswa.
In their defence, the Sports ministry, represented by permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo, dwelled on the role of the SRC, promising to transform the supreme mother body as well as the act that brought the institution into being.
“The history is that the SRC was setup to look at regulations and the registration of sports associations,” Chitepo said.
“But it has become less relevant. From the discourses we have been having, there is no confidence in the SRC. Associations should be fearful of the SRC, but that is not happening at the moment, it has to change. The minister of Sport knows one of his mandates is to transform the SRC.”