Home » Arts & Culture » President Honours Champion Manyuchi (allAfrica.com)

President Mugabe yesterday honoured World Boxing Council welterweight international champion, Charles Manyuchi, at a banquet at State House where he gave the boxer $50 000 for flying the national flag high.

The President has, in the past, also honoured outstanding Zimbabwe sportspersons like Olympic swimming superstar Kirsty Coventry, and Comrades marathon champion Steven Muzhingi.

President Mugabe said Manyuchi’s achievements were a source of pride for the country and needed to be celebrated.

“On Saturday the 18th of July 2015 Charles Manyuchi defended his title against challenger Giancula Frezza of Italy. We are here today to celebrate that moment, a great source of pride for us all as a nation united by the power of sport,” said Cde Mugabe.

“Charles Manyuchi’s victory is certainly not just for himself, it is a world victory for Zimbabwe, for Zimbabwe and Zambia, for SADC and Africa.”

The President paid tribute to Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, Zambia and that country’s President, Edgar Lungu, for playing a vital role in Manyuchi’s success story.

“Allow me to restate here that Zimbabwe and Zambia share a common historical background,” said President Mugabe.

“It is once again gratifying to note that in addition to having sacrificed immensely in support of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, the Republic of Zambia and its people remain ever so committed towards total and irreversible economic emancipation and social well-being of Zimbabweans.

“We, as a nation, forever remain appreciative and grateful.”

He noted that Zimbabwean boxing has, since Independence, contributed in putting the country on the world map with boxers such as Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago, the late Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri and Arifonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika.

“As we celebrate champion Manyuchi we acknowledge that since Independence boxing has played a significant role in placing Zimbabwe onto the world map.

“Some of Zimbabwe’s great boxing achievements include, they are not limited to the legendary Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago – three-time Commonwealth boxing champion in the lightweight and super featherweight domain.

“Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri – the Africa Boxing Union heavyweight boxing champion. Stix Macloud, another African Boxing Union All-Africa bantamweight champion, Alfonso Zvenyika “Mosquito,” the Commonwealth flyweight champion and other boxing medalists that include Ezwell Ndlovu, Nokuthula Tshabangu and Duke Chinyadza.

“As a nation we acknowledge that Manyuchi’s success is a product of a number of important factors that nurtured his boxing career, his parents, his sibling twin sister whom I have been happy to learn is into boxing as well, his teachers, trainers, sponsors, supporters and all admirers, of course.

“We acknowledge that Government’s support for the National Youth Games provided a platform where Manyuchi, as an amateur boxer, won four gold medals during the years 2005 to 2008 as he was steadily trailblazing his way into being a professional champion, which he is today.

“By the way Manyuchi was never beaten at the National Youth Games so he has that record of having been invincible in the past.

“The National Youth Games provide an opportunity for individual development in sport while it equally is nation building and instrumental in social cohesion. Sport is also important in socio-economic development of the nation and improvement of people’s and communities livelihoods.”

The President noted that the Government was aware of the need to invest in sport development and said the national sports and recreation policy will soon be finalised.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Government is aware that development of sport requires much investment in training, equipment and infrastructure.

“In this regard Government is pleased that consultations for the development of a national sports and recreation policy are progressing well and are soon to be finalised.

“It is our hope that the new policy framework will set the stage for the development of sport which is a viable industry, which will contribute towards employment creation and economic development in line with our Zim-Asset policy.

“We expect that sport will be transformed into a viable industry.

“Furthermore, the development of sportspersons such as Manyuchi should not be left to one sector or one ministry or corporate, it should instead be a result of close collaboration where the private and public sectors should be partners.

“The success of implementation of programmes will require unity of purpose and strong collaborative relationships,” said Cde Mugabe

An elated Manyuchi said he was grateful to President Mugabe for taking his time to honour him and pleaded for the President’s support in sport.

“This is a lifetime opportunity for me and I will always cherish it forever.

“At the same time we continue to launch our plea to you, Baba, as your children. Your help and support is critical to all the exploits we engage in.

“We need your help to identify other talents within our midst, process it and unleash it,” said Manyuchi.

The banquet was also graced by Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ndiyoyi Mutiti, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi, Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and Acting Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Supa Mandiwanzira.

Other sporting personalities from various sporting disciplines also attended the function.

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