Stranded Kenyan boxers slam ZNBBC

HARARE - Kenyan boxers George Otieno and Bernard Ardie have slammed the Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control (ZNBBC) after they were left stranded here since Saturday.

Otieno and Ardie were part of the fighters that took part in the tournament held on Friday night at the Harare International Conference Centre organised by Kalakoda Promotions and Kwese TV.

The two, however, missed their flight back to East Africa on Saturday afternoon as they are still to get their purse monies.   

Since then, the two boxers have been surviving on the benevolence of local well-wishers who booked them in a lodge and have been taking turns to buy them food. 

“I cannot put my blame of what is happening on the promoter because the promoter will be allowed to stage the fight in light with what the commission wants,” Otieno told the Daily News last night.

“So, it is the fault of the commission not the promoter. When we come here, we have to be protected by the commission.

“When I come here I know that my interests are protected by the commission and the promoter is just a businessman.

“There is no way I will ask the promoter to give me my money because before a fight has been staged, the promoter will deposit the purse money with the commission’s account."

STRANDED: Kenyans boxer George Otieno, right, and compatriot Bernard Ardie contemplate their next move while relaxing in a local lodge last night. PIC: BRIGHTON GOKO

Otieno added: “Whatever happens, the commission must advice the promoter that there are problems with accessing money in Zimbabwe.

“In that case, if the promoter is coming from a foreign country they would have come here with hard cash. The commission should have known better because accessing money in Zimbabwe is a problem.”

The Kenyan said he has travelled to other countries with similar cash problems like Zimbabwe but it was smooth sailing.

“This is very unprofessional because we are not new to travelling to other countries in this boxing industry,” Otieno said.

“We have travelled to other countries in Africa and Europe where the economy is much worse that here in Zimbabwe. I went to Uzbekistan in 2014 and their economy is much worse than here.

“They do not allow you to leave the country with more than $100 but the commission there made sure that we got our money via MoneyGram when I got back to Kenya.”

Otieno said officials from ZNBBC have assured them that they will get their money today while their flights back home are now set for tomorrow afternoon.

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