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Zimbabwe football home matches in Rwanda “is our walk of shame”

But if the truth be said, Government, to be precise our Leaders have taken and taken from football without giving back.

It is true to say that most governments recognise sports as a useful tool of mass mobilisation. Football, the people’s sport often comes in handy during National events to entertain the masses.

In Zimbabwe this has been the case over the years. At independence in 1980, the football tournament which involved Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi was the icing on the cake. Of course Bob Marley and the Wailers were in town to show solidarity with the new Nation.

They gifted us a song Zimbabwe!

Over the years no National event has been complete without football being part of the proceedings. The Independence and The Heroes Day trophies have been part of our sporting calendar for years.

Teams like Dynamos and Highlanders (with the mass appeal ) have been there to advance the cause of the Nation. Recently they even took the game to Mt.Darwin during the Independence celebrations.

Former President President Mugabe was not a football person per se, he preferred Cricket but even those who surrounded knew the value of football.

Occasionally he attended matches to tap into the National appeal and yes his birthdays became occasions for Cup games. Bob@90, Bob @91…tapping into football!

But if the truth be said, Government, to be precise our Leaders have taken and taken from football without giving back.

Infrastructure development in general has been neglected. Since 1980 we have only built one stadium ,a gift from the Chinese.

To be fair in 1995 during the All Africa games, the Government invested in sporting infrastructure. Rufaro and BF stadiums were spruced up. Chitungwiza Aquatic Centre and Magamba Hockey stadium came into being.

But when the chance came in 2002 to host The African cup of Nations, the government dragged its feet. We lost the chance to build or improve our stadiums to world standards and the hosting rights were withdrawn.

Since then, the stadium situation has gotten worse. Municipalities have been culpable as well!

Our pride the NSS is a hollow shell of its past glory, condemned by CAF. This should be the pride of the Nation but alas,we cannot even use it anymore.

Gwanzura is dead and buried, Sakubva Stadium whose renovations started in 2002 in preparation for hosting Afcon remain inadequate, Rufaro and BF can only host local football!

There are many reasons why we are here.

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We cannot ignore the political dynamics. Reasons have been advanced ranging from budgetary constraints, corruption and yes even sanctions. This calls for a more detailed discussion.

But apportioning blame will not get us anywhere.

What we need are solutions and as a Nation we must find them!

So now here we are, we are going to Rwanda and Rwanda will be our temporary home. It is a walk of shame!

Rwanda is a very small country. It does not have the riches which Zimbabwe have. Her natural resources are incomparable to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is richly endowed.

But Rwanda emerged from a crisis when close to 1 million died in senseless blood-letting which threatened the very existence of the Nation.

Now the country is unrecognisable from those dark days in 1994.

Credit must go to President Paul Kagame. His modus operandi has been widely criticized especially his democratic credentials but to be honest ,his love for Rwanda is unquestionable.You listen to him speak ,you can feel his unapologetic commitment to the National cause.

He desired a new Rwanda and he has delivered.

New infrastructure has been built ,in fact Kigali the capital city prides itself as the cleanest city in Africa. Think of our seat of power , Harare,you cannot talk about aesthetics in Harare. It is resilient but battered and bruised,it needs help!

Like everything else including our stadiums. Our Government must take the lead with the support of citizens.

Yes individuals can take the initiative like Prophet Walter Magaya has done with his Heart Stadium in Waterfalls , but the clarity of vision must come from the high echelons of power. They must drive this development.

Power must drive development!

Zimbabweans are hardworking people, they are willing, the leadership must complete the equation.

Yes the Rwanda trip will be a walk of shame but let it not end there… let the Redemption begin.

Let us develop our infrastructure… we are a rich country, let us use the vast resources to uplift the Nation.

“If Rwanda did it, we can did it too!”

Pamberi ne Zimbabwe!