It beats me how this man functions

HARARE - 24 hours earlier, he had met a football supporters’ body aligned to Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and announced at the meeting that he would not fire the association’s board following the calamitous failure to advance past the preliminary stage of African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Not that sacking Zifa, in so doing attracting the wrath of world governing body Fifa, is  the best possible solution for any right-thinking person in this country.

But there was something in the tone of the proclamation by Sports Minister Andrew Langa – beaming from ear to ear and surrounded by members of a supporters outfit called Friends of Warriors – that does not inspire confidence at all that sport in this country is in the hands of man who knows his stuff and has firm grip on affairs. 

24 hours later, Langa was meeting Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) chiefs, two senior players and coaching staff at his offices, where he promised to “go out of his way” to help fund the national side if they beat Russia in their tough World Cup qualification play-off on August 2.

The announcement by Langa, coming two weeks after the Sables agonisingly missed out on automatic qualification in the Africa Cup in Madagascar – not because of the association’s shortcomings, or the players’ lack of ability, but for appalling lack of support from his ministry – is further testimony that the man is terribly out of sync, awfully unaware of his roles, responsibilities and priorities as the Minister of Sport.

I hope we beat Russia. I hope we can still go to the World Cup. But to tell us that now, minister, when we have been forced to take the tougher road because an easier route was wasted due to lack of a little helping hand from you and your ministry, is the highest degree of insult.

It’s like a father who neglects his child’s education but promises to buy them a nice gift if they pass their exams.

Being abandoned at birth is better than this.

Zimbabwe’s second position in the Africa Cup in Madagascar, heartbreakingly so just behind Namibia, means the Sables need a minor miracle to get through to their first Rugby World Cup in 21 years - but there is still a slim, slim chance.

The Sables must beat Russia away early next month in the alien and tough conditions of Siberia. If they do, they then face the winner between Hong Kong and Uruguay, home-and-away, for one of the last tickets to England 2015.

More than snookers, Brendan Dawson's men need a miracle.

Russia are ranked a few rungs above Zimbabwe in the IRB rakings, and are one the better second-tier European rugby sides.

And if we manage get there, Uruguay are one of the major rugby playing nations of South America – alongside the likes of Argentina and Chile – while Hong Kong’s expat population has helped strengthen rugby union in that region. The British and Australian exiles in their national team make it quite a formidable side.

Quite simply for us, the missed opportunity in Madagascar, of which Minister Langa should be taking some responsibility instead of insulting our intelligence like he did on Tuesday, was the best chance we’ve had in 21 years.

It’s now a mountain to climb.

Comments (6)

And when he visited Tuku's Pakare Paye Centre in Norton, he promised to assist Tuku financially despite that he is doing very well, and when there are other less successful but talented artists who are struggling and need assistance.

Mike Hove - 24 July 2014

He should just resign but these ZANU PF clowns we have mascarading as leaders are justa a joke. God help Zimbabwe.

mukwerekwere - 24 July 2014

We have smart bombs, which ar eintelligent and can employ GPS coodinates to hit a give target without fail. Then there are dump bombs which are dropped and all one can do is hope that they will hit the target. Then we have smart phones on which one can make voice calls, texts. Send and receive emails & WhatsApps, Videos, Audio recordings, read maps, act as GPS systems and so much more....then we have dumb phone all they do is enable you to make voice calls and send and receive texts. That it. Then we have Smart Minister, your Walter Mzembi who ho the limelight for the right reasons and is truly a firebrand individual who serves his country well. Then finally you have Minister Langa who is absolutely clueless about issues besetting his ministry. Forgive me but does not look clueless? Look at him.

scombingo - 25 July 2014

We have smart bombs, which ar eintelligent and can employ GPS coodinates to hit a give target without fail. Then there are dumb bombs which are dropped and all one can do is hope that they will hit the target. Then we have smart phones on which one can make voice calls, texts. Send and receive emails & WhatsApps, Videos, Audio recordings, read maps, act as GPS systems and so much more....then we have dumb phones, all they do is enable you to make voice calls and send and receive texts. That's it. Then we have Smart Ministers, your Walter Mzembi who hogs the limelight for the right reasons and is truly a firebrand individual who serves his country well. Then finally you have Minister Langa who is absolutely clueless about issues besetting his ministry. Forgive me but does he not look clueless? Look at him.

scombingo - 25 July 2014

It beats me how they ALL function!

Johno - 25 July 2014

I know of ordinary people out there who say they only keep up to date with soccer as a way of conversing with strangers they meet, like you or I would when talking about the weather. If you google “soccer is stupid”, you will see many results from people who see it as a simple pastime, like playing draughts by the side of the road. It's true that playing soccer does have health advantages. You can also get these benefits by going to the gym, cross-country running or jogging. On the down side, soccer has attracted vicious hooligans in developed countries. The only people who benefit from soccer are the teams, gamblers and suppliers of goods and services at the game. Soccer does not put food on my family's table, nor does it teach our children how to be good citizens of our country. The obsession with soccer is fuelled by hotels and other public places like shops who mistakenly believe that they should only have soccer and other sports channels playing on their televisions. This fantasy is illustrated by a belief that it is of great importance to send our warriors team to regional soccer championships. Large sums of money are promised to the players, there is a lot of pomp, and the team fly off to play in another country. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't. But at the end of the day, this doesn't benefit the families struggling to survive without a mother or father, nor does it benefit communities ravaged by floods, underpaid and overworked guards, teachers and single unemployed mothers. It only benefits a few. Let's get our priorities straight.

logicalguy - 26 July 2014

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