Govt reassures Youth Games service providers

HARARE - Government has appealed for patience to service providers and volunteers still owed for work done during the 2014 African Union (AU) Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games which were held in Bulawayo.

Most of the service providers are still to be paid two years after the hosting of the regional youth games, with Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane telling the National Assembly on Tuesday that government will settle its debt.

He was responding to a question by Nkulumane MDC MP, Killian Sibanda, who expressed concern about losing business from financial institutions.

“What plans do you have in place to pay creditors of the AU Games hosted by Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in the year 2014?” Sibanda asked.

Hlongwane said: “Government is alive to its obligations in respect of amounts owing to service providers due to the December 2014 games in Bulawayo, the AU Sports Council Region 5 Games.

“In 2016, government put together a budget of $900 000 to amortise that bill. Unfortunately, because of the challenges with revenue collection, the actual appropriation was done but the disbursement was not done to us as the line ministry responsible for the issue that the honourable member is raising so that we could pass on the money to the people that are owed.

“Government’s position is however, it accepts its obligations.  It is quite clear that this is money that has to be paid and government is going to pay once the resources are available.”

Some of the facilities which were refurbished include Bulawayo Swimming Pool, Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve Stadium, White City Stadium, Large City Hall, Bulawayo Polytechnic College and Hillside Teachers College, among others.

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