Parliament has demanded that under-performing Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry and July Moyo (Minister of Local Government) should provide the nation with answers following the condemnation of all stadiums in the country by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
According to CAF, all stadiums in Zimbabwe are not suitable to host international matches a development which will force the country to play its home games away from home at a time when there are issues of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Parliament is of the view that the two ministers should provide a joint Ministerial statement in the National Assembly, highlight the challenges and what they are going to do to rectify the embarrassing situation.
Speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said the matter was serious and must be solved urgently.
“…the fact that we had our national stadium disqualified by CAF is a serious matter, so we will want a Ministerial Statement to address the issue jointly with the Honourable Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation so that they can explain to the House about this embarrassment,” he said.
The Speaker’s remarks came following sentiments by Harare North legislator Rusty Markham over government’s slow-paced efforts in addressing the issue of dilapidated stadiums and later treating the matter like it was something trivial.
Markham added that the government turned a blind eye on the stadiums and only want to act when the situation is now out of hand.
Norton legislator Honourable Temba Mliswa weighed into the matter adding that the ministerial statement was very critical and would also help to clarify why stadiums do not fall under the ministry which actually runs sports led by Minister Kirsty Coventry.
“I think a Ministerial Statement is critical so that we interrogate more as to why the stadiums are under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works yet the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation itself which runs sport has no stadiums under it. So, I think it is quite an exhausting one which requires us to interrogate the Minister further on this.”
Minister Coventry has been under fire from the public for failing to produce meaningful results since her appointment into office in 2018, with the recent CAF announcement being a bitter pill for most.
In a spirited defence of her work, Coventry took to Twitter to rubbish those who expected her to provide solutions overnight for infrastructure that had been deteriorating for years before her appointment describing such talk as ‘nonsense’.
We all know that the stadiums in Zimbabwe have been deteriorating for ages but it is now my responsibility to make sure we fix this mess. Overnight solutions will not work but know that I am on it.
I will keep you posted so don’t listen to other nonsense out there.
— Kirsty Coventry (@KirstyCoventry) February 27, 2020
Meanwhile, the City of Harare says the neglected Gwanzura stadium is coming back into shape with laying of new turf expected to be completed in the next few weeks.