Headline News :

We are a big joke

​Dynamos FC in action.

Hope Chizuzu -
THE just ended football season in the country has emboldened the otherwise known but unadmitted fact that as a country we are a big joke. The narrative has been the same. The journalists have written the same script. The government has been utterly the same silent ducks and yet the Zimbabwe Football Association has been as clueless as they been since 2010.
No lessons have been learnt. No mistakes corrected. No ideas borrowed either, despite endless meetings either at COSAFA, CAF or FIFA. Our league has been dying a slow natural death like crops succumbing to drought. But what has been interesting has been that ZIFA for all their wisdom decided to banish all national teams as a way of finding a solution to the failure to qualify for any competitions.
What has not been explained is how that helps our football grow. Since our failure to qualify for the 2010 AFCON in Angola and World Cup in South Africa, AFCON 2012 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, AFCON 2013 in South Africa, World Cup 2014 in Brazil and the AFCON 2015 to be played in Equatorial Guinea in January, Dube and his team of administrators fronted by one Jonathan Mashingaidze have disbanded the national team.
What have we achieved out of that enforced recess? Have there been questions from either government or media over that issue? Why has the minister responsible for sport kept his mouth shut over such a decision? Why have the media taken a back seat and let things go south each time under this leadership? Have the whole country become an accomplice to such crimes? Are we such a joke not see where all our problems are coming from?
I have been a part of a team of journalists who sat to discuss the technical report for each of the last four AFCON tournaments and the analysis from the writers has been that Zimbabwe has so much talent both in players and coaches and the only reason they have been playing this poorly has been down to leadership. Actually, the lack thereof has been the reason.
"Zimbabwe is one of the technically endowed nations in Africa, with a lot quality in their ranks. They can play good football and are competitive, but what has been the problem is the lack proper leadership. Those that run football in the country have been their undoing. We had reports of players and coaches going unpaid and that is a bad sign and it significantly affects the team performance.
"As CAF we are concerned about that. We have tried to assist them by offering those courses but sadly they keep on sending the same people to those courses and the impact has been absent. As a country they have to find ways of solving this huge cancer because football in that country is suffering," read an AFCON 2013 report.
The report was sent to all affiliates of CAF and it has not been discussed by either the ZIFA board or has the media seen it fit to publish its contents. And that is where our problems are. If we cannot face up to our issues how are we going to solve our problems or let alone seek assistance?
Only last week the biggest football brand in the land Dynamos, won the league for the fourth time in a row and 20 times overall but they shocked the nation and the region by announcing that they will not be participating in the CAF Champions League 2015 because they do not have the funds for the exercise. Honest, yes. But it is a poor decision that mirrors the state of our game.
For winning the title Dynamos will only get USD75 000 for the 30 weeks of toil. Delta through their Castle brand bankrolls the league yet pay just enough for one trip to North Africa in the African safari and we have our league leadership led by one Twine Phiri parroting that we have sponsorship in the game. Sponsorship that is not good enough to pay off expenses for the season.  What a joke?
The fans feel Dynamos let them down by pulling out but Keni Mubayiwa and his executive made a shrewd football decision by pulling out because playing continental football requires money. DR Congo giants TP Mazembe and serial champions have a budget of USD5 million for the safari although they can only win USD1.5 million at the end.
As a nation we need to re-evaluate ourselves and see whether we still deserve our positions and roles. Off course we do not have a culture of resigning if we fail, but I think this is the joke that has not been fun, we need to banish and let our game live again. Football is bigger than individuals and government need to help by getting more involved.
We cannot afford to have our national team on endless recess because ZIFA in their selfish interests think it is the best way to ward off criticism. No. We cannot allow Dynamos to stall progress for players by opting out of tournaments due to lack of funds. Government cannot just sit there and watch our game die. It is our thing and ours together that is why they all cram our stadiums when teams are doing well and vanish when they waiver like they have been doing lately.sports

Magananda and ZINWA in a thrilling draw

Mugenji insults referee for "poor officiating"
Tapiwa Muzondo - MASVINGO
- Mucheke social league outfits Magananda and Zinwa shared the spoils in a thrilling encounter at a packed Mamutse stadium in Mucheke on Sunday.
The match started on high tempo as both teams made their intentions to walk away with maximum points very clear from the onset. 
 Magananda were the first to score through Bothwell Dendere in the early minutes of the first half. Zinwa replied towards the end of the first half with a ferocious blinder from the boots of Machido Hamandishe to go to the oranges tied at one all.
In the 60th minute Clemence Chafunda doubled the lead for Magananda after being awarded a penalty after Zinwa player was adjudged to have handled in the eighteen areas.
As the match wore on it was a seesaw affair as Zinwa equalised in the 73rd minute to cancel out Magananda's lead.
Benny Hwata did not take time to restore Magananda's lead as he scored a thunderbolt from the middle of the park. The goal would easily contest for the best goal of the year.
The match continued with Magananda leading the scores and the refree added five minutes of stoppage time and Zinwa took advantage of a lapse in concentration by Magananda to equalise deep into injury time.
Meanwhile Magananda FC coach, Fastino Mugenji hogged the lime light for the wrong reasons when insulted the referee, Dzikamai Shumba accusing him of biased officiating and as a result denying his team a win.
 The irony of it is that Magananda sits in the disciplinary committee of the social league. For his unbecoming behaviour Mugenji earned himself a red card and had to be ejected from the technical bench.
 "They thought the decisions I made were not fair as they wanted to get the maximum points but soccer is a game of rules," said Shumba after the match.
"We have come so far, as Mucheke social league we wouldn't allow people or individuals to tarnish the image of our league," said Wilander Masiyandima vice organising secretary of Mucheke social league.
During an interview with The Mirror Mugenji says the game was good only he was against the way the referee was handling the match as he felt the decisions cost his team maximum points. sports

Mutsambiwa takes over reins at Masvingo golf club

Tapiwa Muzondo - MASVINGO
- Cassian Mutsambiwa has been elected the new captain for Masvingo golf club during elections held at the club house recently.
To land the post Mutsambiwa was elected unopposed replacing Setfree Mapuvire who had served the club for three consecutive terms since 2012, Peter Nyaruwata was also elected vice captain on the same day beating Happy Tazviinga the former secretary and  golf correspondent for The Mirror garnering.
The treasurer's post was won by Ambela Gopal and the secretary's post went to Tawanda.
Stanley Kondongwe and Cliff Mumbengegwi were both elected committee members.
As the new captain Mutsambiwa who is an architect by profession said he has many new exciting plans for the club.
"As the new captain I want to renovate the club house, upgrade the ladies ablution facilities and to repair security wall which has so many holes due to damage to the wall, as a result the public is now using the golf course as a love nest.
"There is also the risk of the public being hit by stray balls.
"Also if funds permit we want to increase playing holes from nine to eighteen matching other big golf courses.
"It is most likely that all that we have planned for will be achieved within a year because of increased activity at the club which naturally translate into more money for the club," said Mutsambiwa soon after being elected captain.
Mutsambiwa also said his term of office is not going to be a stroll in the park considering the legacy that was left by the outgoing captain, Mapuvire.
"It was also during Mapuvire's tenure that Great Zimbabwe University had its inaugural golf tournament and The Makovah memorial golf tournament also turned national. Mapuvire also oversaw the installation of a 5000 litre water tank to easy the perennial water shortage at the club and scooping of the dam," said Tazviinga the outgoing secretary in praise of Mapuvire.sports

Vic Junior pupil goes for tennis national trials

Tapiwa Muzondo - MASVINGO
– A grade six Victoria Primary pupil, Mulungisi Mhlanga, was selected for a one week tennis national trials in Harare for the African Junior Championship (AJC) team scheduled to participate in Morocco next year.
Born on September, 8, 2001 Mhlanga was selected for national trials. The 13 year–old Mhlanga started playing tennis at a tender age of four year.
"AJC is a tournament which provides the young tennis players a platform to shine at the continental level.
"He has been playing in a couple of national tournaments including three major national tournaments that include Mantas tournament held in  Mutare, select health care kids tournament and new winners that were both held in Harare," said Masvingo tennis coach ,Mark Chinyenyani.
He added that this event is an important one, as it helps Mhlanga to be recognized internationally and join other professional tennis players from Zimbabwe such as Cara Black and Takanyi Garanyanga.
Chinyenyani went on to say that Mhlanga was coached by former Masvingo tennis coach George Dzinoreva who is the current Manicaland director of tennis academy for three months at the end of last year. local news

Tocky to rock Chiredzi

Morris Bishi - Chiredzi
- Contemporary dancehall artist Tocky Vibes will next week invade Chiredzi to mark his initial visit to the Sugarcane growing town for his first gig.
Tocky, born Obey Makamure has recorded a widespred appreciation from fans across the country who is appreciating his unique lyrics which constitute a rich cultural and social lining.
Chiredzi based promoter Kenneth 'Lazzer O' Dzingai of the Swagg Team Family said preparations of Tocky's invasion show are at an advanced stage with upcoming artist from Chiredzi expected to feature.
"Tocky Vibes is coming to Chiredzi for the first time on the 18th of this month. Everything is in place and nothing will stop fans from enjoying his music as he would be performing live at Chitsanga Hall.
Local artists are also expected to perform during the show," said Dzingai.
Dzingai said their target is to help talented musicians from Chiredzi to copy acts from rising stars as this would add value to the country's entertainment charts.
"We have so many young dancehall artists who are rising from Chiredzi but they are struggling to rise to meet standard which are acceptable at national level. This is their platform to see how prosperous musicians like Tocky are doing it, they will share the stage with him and I know they won't let us down but rather showcase their talents freely," said Dzingai.
Chiredzi groomed musicians like Kuligan and Kalabash who have made it into the musical zone as their debut album The Intro was received by fans.
Tocky's manager Elvis Bukosi however promising fans in Chiredzi quality performance.
"We give our fans from across the country quality music as payment for their patient to wait for Tocky to visit their towns and cities. We are going to Chiredzi and we promise our fans there that an improved performance is what we always offer," said Bukosi.local news

25 Chingwizi Suspects acquitted

•    Police blasted for wanton arrests  of innocent victims.
Morris Bishi - CHIREDZI
– Chiredzi Magistrate Honest Musiiwa on Monday acquitted 25 of the Chingwizi flood victims who were facing charges of public violence which happened in August at Chingwizi Transit Camp that led to the torching of Police vehicles.
The trial of the flood victims exposed the Zimbabwe Republic Police after it came to light that the Police acted randomly and indiscriminately arrested all the people in the camp which human rights lawyers said was done in a brazen and cruel manner as a way of punishing the victims.
Magistrate Musiiwa acquitted the 25 on the basis that the evidence given by all State witnesses who testified in the case does not link them to the commissioning of the crime. He however, ruled that the 4, Patrick Changwesha, Nyengerai Tagwirei, Mike Mudyanembwa and Samuel Mubaiwa have a case to answer.
The trial started last month with the State led by Liberty Hove alleging that on 1 August 2014 Patrick Changwesha and 28 others committed a crime of public violence after a misunderstanding over the moving of a clinic from the transit camp to a new site known as 1 hectare plots where the victims were told to move to by the Government. The violence resulted in the torching of Police vehicles and burning of victims` tents.
All the accused persons who were represented by human rights lawyers Jeremiah Bamu, Collins Maboke, Martin Mureri and Philip Tanaka Shumba denied the charges and put the state to strict proof of its allegations against them.  The State witness to give evidence was Henrieta Kuona a nurse who was in charge of the clinic. Kuona said they were ordered by the District Nursing Officer to move part of the tent to the new site and she agreed that this was done without consulting the victims in the camp and said that caused the misunderstanding. Kuona identified by pointing a finger to Samuel Mubaiwa as one of the people who demanded that they should stop removing the clinic. The defence led by Jeremia Bamu objected to the identification of his clients in court saying where a witness is required to point out from the dock, the accused person suffers considerable damages. The defence later applied for the evidence given by Kuona to be struck off the record saying it is prejudicial to their clients.
Another witness a police officer identified as Inspector Masiya during cross examination by defence stunned the court when he said on the day in question he was taking instructions from the  District Administrator and not from his Police superiors. He said he memorized the events before coming to court. He also claimed that he was struck on the helmet by a log but failed to produce the struck helmet in court. Inspector Masiya agreed that police came to arrest the accused persons days well after the commissioning of the crime.
The defence told the court that there was an expecting mother who was forcibly removed from the clinic in question and that event invited anger from the victims who later rioted against the police. local news

Chiredzi RDC approves $4m budget

​Isaac Matsilele
Morris Bishi - CHIREDZI
– Chiredzi Rural District Council has approved a $4 million 2015 budget with council aiming to complete other projects they started in 2014.
Speaking to The Mirror, Chiredzi Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer Isaac Matsilele said the budget was forwarded to the Ministry of Local Government for approval after consultations with stakeholders were completed.
"The full council meeting which sat sometime last week adopted the budget of $4 million and we have since forwarded the proposed budget to the Ministry for approval" said Matsilele.
"We have many projects which we want to complete in 2015. Some of them are clinics as well as schools which need to be built or refurbished. We want to construct market stalls," said Matsilele.
Matsilele revealed that Chiredzi rural District Council was granted authority by ministry of Local Government and National Housing to buy road maintenance equipment like graders, tippers and caterpillars.local news

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