Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
ZIFA and the Sport and Recreation Commission yesterday led the way in congratulating newly-appointed Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kazembe Kazembe with the soccer mother body confident the former Dynamos secretary-general’s elevation to the portfolio would usher in a new era for sport in the country.
Kazembe replaces Makhosini Hlongwane in the new Cabinet announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday night.
The Harare businessman and Member of Parliament for Mazowe West is not new to sport having served as Dynamos secretary-general from 2011-12 and as an executive committee member at the club prior to his elevation.
During his tenure at Dynamos Kazembe was credited with bringing a refreshing professional approach to Dynamos in which he also shied away from the boardroom politics that often threaten to tear the Harare giants apart.
By the time he left the Glamour Boys in December 2011, Kazembe had helped lay the platform for their dominance of the Premiership.
The Harare giants then went on to win four successive Premiership titles under the guidance of coach Callisto Pasuwa.
Minister Kazembe will now have bigger and wider responsibilities that will stretch beyond DeMbare and football and ZIFA in their congratulatory message to him took cognisance of that.
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa, who also congratulated the rest of the new Cabinet team, said in a statement he was optimistic Kazembe would take the country’s sport and football in particular to a higher level.
The Association welcomed Kazembe’s appointment with a huge degree of optimism and reckoned that they would continue to build on the cordial relations that the soccer body had built with the Ministry under his predecessor Hlongwane.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Dr Philip Chiyangwa, the executive committee, the Secretariat and the General Assembly would like to congratulate Cde Kazembe Kazembe on his appointment as the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation.
“We do believe your appointment ushers another era into the growth of sport in general and football in particular especially at this juncture where we are working tirelessly to turn around the fortunes of the beautiful game.
“It is our sincere hope that the links we forged with your predecessor and other ministries will be taken to new levels. Government support is critical to the development of football across Zimbabwe and our endeavours to ensure maximum corporate support for the game.
“We will play our part and we implore your good office to do the same. As a person who has been in football for a long time, we have all the hope that you will, as they say, hit the road running.
“We say Congratulations, Amhlophe, Makorokoto.”
ZIFA also saluted the 22 Ministers who made it into President Mnangagwa’s Cabinet.
“We sincerely believe the President has chosen the best team going forward, of men and women of integrity to forge a new Zimbabwe.
“We wish you all the best in the diligent execution of your duties and be assured of full support from all of us as an Association,” Chiyangwa said.
Acting Sports Commission director-general Joseph Muchechetere, in his statement, said Kazembe’s appointment came at a time when they were working on a strategy to restore Zimbabwe’s glory on the international sporting map.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission Board, Management and Staff would like to congratulate Hon. Kazembe Kazembe (MP) on his appointment as the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation.
“His appointment comes at a time when the Sport and Recreation Sector is in the process of putting together
a National Sport and Recreation Strategy which will guide how sport and recreation will be delivered in the next three years in line with the National Sport and Recreation Policy.
“We are confident that Hon. Kazembe will lead the way as the sector charts a new trajectory, which should result in sport being able to transform itself into a formidable economic driver capable of creating employment and complete the value chain through its contributions to the economy.
“Sport and Recreation is not only a provider of entertainment, rather it is a key driver of revenue over and above its role of fostering social cohesion, however, this can only be realised with a well thought out and robust National Sport and Recreation Strategy which will guide all the stakeholders in the sector.
“As your Technical Arm, we are ready to work with you as you hit the ground running in order to ensure that Zimbabwe becomes the Jewel of African Sport and Recreation thus making a positive difference in our beautiful nation.
“Once again we say congratulations, Makorokoto, Amhlope we wish you a fruitful and enjoyable tenure,” said Muchechetere.
Apart from sport Kazembe’s other areas of interest include information communication technology, mining, energy, industry and commerce.
Article Source: The Herald