MEMBER of Parliament for Harare West Jessie Majome has vowed to make sure the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Recreation honour the pledge for housing stands made to the Mighty Warriors for qualification to the Rio Olympics and the Women Africa Cup of Nation two years ago.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Although former Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane is the one who made the pledge, Majome took the incumbent Kazembe Kazembe to task on the matter in Parliament on Wednesday.
Kazembe was also challenged on the disparity between men and women in the sporting field in terms of promotional activities and remuneration.
“I took the Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation, Honourable Kazembe, to task on what his ministry was doing to ensure that women and men in sport are paid equally, using the disparity between the Mighty Warriors and the Warriors as an example,” Majome wrote on her Facebook page.
“I am shocked by the huge pay gap between the Mighty Warriors and Warriors sides. The men got $40 000 plus a stand each for their participation at the Afcon, while the ladies who represented Zimbabwe at the Olympics each got a $500 stipend.
“In 2015 the Mighty Warriors were promised residential stands for qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but up to now they haven’t received anything. This problem is not only in football, but exists in most if not all sporting disciplines in Zimbabwe.”
Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa, who has of late been claiming that he has paid the national teams all their dues, has gone mum on the issue.
The last time Chiyangwa mentioned the stands was when he was under fire after his association neglected the Mighty Warriors’ team upon return from Rio Olympics in August 2016.
“We have money [for the Mighty Warriors], which will be distributed next week, together with their stands. That money could have been given to the team [yesterday], but the players had gone,” Chiyangwa said on August 13, 2016.
To date the stands have not been delivered while it is understood that the Mighty Warriors are still owed money.
“Honourable Kazembe said the ministry through the Sports and Recreation Commission was working out a remuneration policy that will promote fairness, rewarding men and women equally for participation in the same competitions,” Majome said.
“I didn’t give up on the Mighty Warriors’ residential stands promise after I had tried to ‘arm-twist’ the Finance minister during the budget debate by saying I would oppose the sports budget vote until he provided for the stands. He had wriggled out of it saying it was Zifa’s and not his promise but had undertaken to push Zifa.
“I therefore pursued the Sports minister who said the ministry engaged the Ministry of Local Government which indicated that they were going to offer the stands in Harare, Bulawayo or Mutare. The Sports ministry is still waiting for Local Government’s response. I will pursue the Sports ministry’s undertaking to give stands to the women’s national team.”
It remains unclear who made the pledge between the Sports ministry and Zifa as Kazembe’s predecessor pointed the finger at Chiyangwa, regarding the promise.