ZNBBC admits to bungling

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control (ZNBBC) has admitted that they bungled after Kenyan boxers were left stranded in Harare without their purse money following a tournament last week.

Kenyan boxers George Otieno and Bernard Ardie were part of the foreign contingent that took part in the event held at the Harare International Conference Centre last Friday night.

The tournament was organised by South African company Kalakoda Promotions and Kwese TV.

However, Otieno and Ardie missed their flight back to Nairobi on Saturday afternoon as they were still haggling with ZNBBC over their purse money after the tournament.

Since then they have been staying in a local lodge while surviving on handouts from well-wishers.

ZNBBC board member Thomas Kambuyi said: “Normally a promoter puts up a fight and is responsible for everything including paying all the boxers and in the event that the hosts or parent body takes over the paying of boxers the money should be deposited 14 days before the fight but we only received it four days before.

“I can confirm that the money is sitting in our account but the challenge that we are having is to access hard cash.

“We even made arrangements with our bank but they told us that they needed to write to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and with the deadline that we were working with it was going to be difficult.

“We need to do things above board; we need to follow the law by doing the proper procedures.”

Kambuyi said his board has proposed that the Kenyans fly back to their country and their money will be deposited once all the necessary steps have been taken.

“We are committing ourselves as a board with the boxers’ professional boxing board in Kenya because the money is there,” he said.

“They have already said they want their money so the decision squarely rests with the boxers whether to accept this proposal or to wait for all the steps to be concluded before they can access their money.

“If they choose to remain in the country and wait until they get paid I don’t know how we are going to be doing it (welfare) but we have got no choice because they are our visitors and we need to take care of them until they return back to their country.”

Speaking to the Daily News on Tuesday night, Otieno laid the blame for their situation squarely on ZNBBC.

“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.

“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.”

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

“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.”

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