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ZIMBABWE Handball Federation president Amon Madzvamuse insisted that all is well within their association despite indications that the national men’s and women’s teams that were scheduled to compete in Zone Six Championships in Zambia this month will no longer participate in the event due to financial constraints.

The championships are slated for March 9 to 14 in Lusaka with countries from the Southern Africa Region participating in the men’s and women’s categories.

The six-day tournament is serving as the qualifier for the All-Africa Games to be staged in Congo Brazzaville from September 4 to 19.

The national teams last competed in the All-Africa Games in 1995 when Zimbabwe hosted the Games. The country has been failing to participate in the Games as qualification was restricted to the top-ranked African countries.

However, this year’s qualification was opened to all countries within the continent with the zonal championships. In the men’s category the winners will progress to the main event while in the women’s section two teams will proceed to Congo Brazzaville.

But Zimbabwe will again miss out after the local handball mother-body failed to secure resources to fund the trip to Zambia.

The senior teams have not had any meaningful competition for quite sometime now besides their failure to go to Zambia and it appears focus has been more on the juniors.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Madzvamuse denied that they are facing challenges within the association when it comes to national teams and said their major problem has been lack of competition within the region for the seniors.

“We are not facing any challenges but if we don’t have competition in the region then there is no reason to have national teams participating.

“Handball has been developing and people should thank us as the executive because we are developing these juniors who will become seniors. Right now we are supposed to go to Zambia but other countries are failing to come up with teams we can play with, they are also having challenges.

“So even if we are to come up with national teams who will we compete with? It’s a problem we have to address as a region. This had been the issue, we never had any invitation, we cannot say we have failed to send teams. It’s because there are no senior competitions but otherwise the All-Africa Games qualifier is the one we are vying for and we are likely to send teams,” said Madzvamuse.

Madzvamuse maintained that the teams are going to Zambia despite the fact that a resource mobilising team that was put in place to raise funds for the trip failed to get sponsorship.

“Right now I am in the Zone Six executive and I am going to Zambia as an official so there is no way we will not send a team,” said Madzvamuse. While the ZHF president insisted that they will be sending teams, the federation’s secretary-general Alphios Magiya said they have failed to raise the required money for the trip.

“The truth is the teams are not going unless a miracle happens within the remaining four days. We failed to secure sufficient resources to participate in the All-Africa Games qualifier. The resource mobilising team found it difficult, we couldn’t find anything.

“Previously, only those ranked within a certain range participated in the All-Africa Games and we usually fell out of that ranking. And now that they had opened the qualification it was an opportunity for us to participate but we failed to raise funds,” said Magiya.

ZHF are expected to hold their elections on March 31 in Kariba with all the posts up for grabs — president, vice-president, secretary-general, treasurer, women in sport, two committee members and athletes commission. The current executive led by Madzvamuse came into office in 2010 with Agrippa Sora as the president.

Sora resigned from the federation in 2012 and Madzvamuse, who was the chief executive at the time, took over as the president deputised by Simbiso Mupepereki.

Source : The Herald