Government is cognisant of the role sport plays in shaping socio-economic development and will pursue initiatives to promote sporting activities in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko has said.
Cde Mphoko made these remarks at the ceremony to receive the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty 20 Trophy at the Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The trophy arrived in Harare by air at 2pm for a parade in Zimbabwe which is one of the participating countries at the 2016 Twenty 20 World Cup to be hosted by India from March 11 to April 3.
The Acting President who was represented by the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Mrs Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga said sport was an important cog in the ZimAsset agenda.
“As Government, we are poignantly aware of the pivotal role sport can play in the realisation of our developmental goals, whilst at the same time offering joyous relief. Sport’s impact on the implementation trajectory of our national economic blueprint — ZimAsset — should not be underestimated.”
According to Acting President Mphoko, sport plays a crucial role in national building and combating ills such as racism.
“Furthermore, sport in general and cricket in particular have a historic mission to coalesce different and disparate social and racial communities into a vibrant cohesive whole called a nation-the Zimbabwe nation,” he said
Acting President Mphoko said the recent creation of an independent Ministry of Sport was proof of how Government placed special priority on sport.
Cde Makhosini Hlongwane was appointed Minister of Sports and Recreation during last year’s Cabinet reshuffle.
“Indeed the recent creation of a stand-alone Ministry of Sport and Recreation bears testimony to the Government’s commitment to the sustainable development of the sport and recreation sector in Zimbabwe. Gone are the days of the hitherto uncoordinated and adhoc activities within this crucial sector,” said Acting President Mphoko.
He said Government closely followed the performance of the national cricket team, whose patron is President Mugabe.
The Acting President said the parading of the trophy in Victoria Falls tomorrow would have a “salutary impact” in marketing the country.
Cde Makhosini Hlongwane is expected to lead a delegation that will display the trophy in the resort town.
Said Acting President Mphoko; “To underline the importance we attach to this event, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon Makhosini Hlongwane will head the entourage to Zimbabwe’s iconic holiday resort. We immensely relish the photo-shoot opportunity at the Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya) and the salutary impact it will bring onto Brand Zimbabwe.”
At yesterdays’ ceremony, Cde Kanengoni-Malinga thanked ICC’s representative Mr Raymond Palmer for bringing the trophy to Zimbabwe.
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