Home » General » Mzembi Taken to Task Over World Cup Bid

MDC-T Mabvuku Tafara MP, James Maridadi, on Wednesday lashed out at the ambitious Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi, saying it’s pointless to talk about World Cup 2034 yet there are more urgent issues like food shortages in the country.

“I have a lot of respect for the Honourable Minister but Madam Speaker, for us to talk about World Cup 2034 in this House when people do not have food today, I think it is an indictment of this House,” Maridadi said.

The motion of hosting the world’s biggest football tournament was moved by Zanu PF Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene during questions without notice session.

“How prepared are we to host the games in 2034? What is your vision regarding this issue?”

Mzembi said he had “legitimacy” when pronouncing the vision on Zimbabwe for World Cup 2034.

“Many of you would recall that in 2011, when the President of FIFA visited the country, Sepp Blatter, we asked what our chances were with regards to putting a bid for 2034. He answered that the chances were as good as our dreams and vision as a country.

“More importantly, we are encouraged by the fact that in 2010, contrary to what turned out to be World Cup 2010 just played in South Africa, the bid itself spoke to a regional bid where countries would have participated in hosting some of the games,” Mzembi said.

He added: “Many of you would recall that we actually refurbished three stadia, the National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields and Rufaro. We even put an artificial turf on Rufaro in anticipation of hosting the games.”

While many have questioned if Mzembi will still be a Minister in 2034 for the vision to come true, Mzembi said he had confidence in the country’s future generation.

“Vision and wisdom is measured by the ability of contemporary generations to plant trees today whose shade they are very sure they may not be able to enjoy in the future,” Mzembi said.

“If the Minister wishes to plant gum trees, my Ministry and the Zanu PF Government is willing to plant baobab trees that will live and outlive us, going forward into the future.

“Going back to the issue, let me say that it is possible Madam Speaker, to host World Cup 2034 in Zimbabwe on the back of regional infrastructure that is already in place.”

He said Zimbabwe could mobilise South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia, “with Zimbabwe providing the lead bit to host this World Cup in our domain”.

Shurugwi North MP Tapiwa Matangaidze said the 2034 vision was brilliant but added that adequate preparations would be required.

“I think what will be more prudent at this stage is probably to try and focus on the African Champions Cup so that at least we start by hosting that. We lay that as a ground level for us to go for 2034.”

Source : New Zimbabwe