Home » Sports » Munetsi Quits, Blasts Minister

ZIMBABWE Boxing Control Board secretary-general Gilbert Munetsi dropped a bombshell yesterday when he announced his immediate resignation and lashed at Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa for neglecting the sport.

Munetsi said Langa was quick to embrace the success of Zimbabwean athletes, like WBC welterweight international boxing champion Charles Manyuchi, when the Sports Ministry wasn’t investing anything in boxing.

He announced his resignation at a media conference organised to celebrate Manyuchi’s success story when he defended his crown in Zambia recently.

Munetsi said he couldn’t understand how Langa went to Brazil to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Zimbabwe were not playing, but could not make the trip to Lusaka to watch Manyuchi defending his world title.

“What pains me most, though, is the rate at which the custodians of this sport rush to get credit when good has been done, pamper us with false promises and walk away with all the credit when good results have been achieved,” Munetsi said.

“So this is the situation and it gets me to be emotional because I question myself how someone can go to Brazil to watch soccer where Zimbabwe is not even participating and then fail to just go to next door Zambia for a boxing world championship, I don’t know . . . I think we are just not serious.

“During the tenure of my national service, which I have personally decided to cut short prematurely after a lot of consideration, there have been success stories and there have been challenges, some of them, unfortunately, man-made.

“For two years, in our tenure, we have received nothing from the ministry, not even a single cent, we operate from our homes because we don’t have offices, we even submit budgets but nothing comes out, not even an acknowledgement that they received it.

“The Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board is one of the three parastatals under the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, the others being the Sport and Recreation Commission and the National Arts Council.

“The SRC is housed at the National Sports Stadium. NAC has offices in Mt Pleasant and both have a secretariat.

“Where in this world have you heard of a national boxing authority running its affairs in people’s homes? I am sorry if I sound blunt, Sir, but this is not only unprofessional, it is unbelievable and humiliating.

“Imagine the world learning that an international champion’s consent letter is written from home? Pathetic!

“Much as it may hurt (but reality has to be stared straight in the face), as long as the appointing authority fails to direct resources as per the dictates of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act, the Board is like a hunter with no arrows in his bows, and yet he is expected to bring forth game.”

Munetsi heaped praises on his fellow board members for their professionalism and dedication to take the sport forward.

“But I will be quick to give credit to colleague board members who, despite the extremely non-conducive environment we operated in, have soldiered on to ensure boxing is a sport worth keeping talking about,” said Munetsi.

“I am yet to come across a professional, dedicated team such as the one I worked with on the Boxing Control Board.

“I also salute the owners of the sport, the boxers themselves, who despite circumstances that are not of their own making, have had to contend with numerous challenges and yet keep their hopes alive that one day all will be well.

“Just two months after we got into office, we managed to have the first bank account for boxing in a long time, having inherited virtually nothing from our predecessors.

“We have religiously held our monthly board meetings, all at our own individual expenses, and it is so touching to see members like Mrs Tsitsi Muzuva and Mr Edward Hammond driving from out of Harare for the meetings using their personal resources.

“That, to me is the highest definition of commitment and patriotism.

“That we have timeously submitted our balanced books of accounts, minutes and proposed budgets and yet still have no place to operate from boggles the mind. It makes me wonder if we are not just a ceremonial board whose task is just to clear (sanction) boxers to participate in tournaments and it ends there.

“There are lots of expectations, Mr Chairman, from these poor but extremely talented people that we serve (boxers) and the fact that we cannot fulfil most of them, leaves us with more questions than we can give answers.”

Source : The Herald