Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs have declared zero tolerance to corruption and match-fixing in sport. Speaking at a two-day convention on match-fixing and other forms of corruption in sport, which began in Harare yesterday, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Virginia Mabhiza, said they were ready to assist to battle corruption in Zimbabwe sport.
The ministry is headed by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Following disturbing revelations that the Warriors’ back-to-back 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers against Swaziland during the Easter holidays were set to be fixed, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation organised the convention.
The convention is being attended by all the sporting national associations representatives as well as other various stakeholders in sport to deliberate on the cancer and come out with a way forward.
However, it is the commitment by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to the cause which is good news for sport.
Currently, the country doesn’t have any piece of legislation to curb or punish the match-fixers if they are busted.
“As Ministry of Justice we have zero tolerance to corruption and that is my starting point,” said Mabhiza.
“Allow me to commence my task as chairperson of this opening session by acknowledging with utmost appreciation, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s initiative and leadership in efforts to find sustainable solutions to the scourge of match-fixing and corruption that threatens the integrity of sport and, concomitantly, our integrity as a nation.
“We have, as a nation, declared zero tolerance to all forms of corruption, and to achieve this objective requires a multi-sectoral approach to developing appropriate, collaborative strategies.
“Within the sport sector, in integrity issues affecting sport are common and cross-cutting among the various sport codes.
“The diversity in the delegate profile for this convention is, therefore, encouraging as it facilitates knowledge sharing and inculcates a sense of common purpose in ridding the sector of the detrimental malpractices.
“Over the next few days, we will have an opportunity to discuss, in thematic and plenary sessions, issues to save the integrity of the sport sector.
“I would like to urge you all, to discuss the issues in a candid and robust manner so as to ensure that resolutions from this convention proffer sustainable solutions to the topic under discussion.
“As we proceed with our deliberations, it is pertinent to keep in mind the main purpose of this convention, which is to develop, by way of resolutions, strategies to eliminate incidents of match-fixing and corruption in sport and, where these manifest themselves, the measures necessary to deal with the culprits in a manner that fosters deterrence and gravitation towards zero occurrence.
“Once again, I wish to assure you that the Ministry of Justice, under our able leadership of our minister, who is also the Vice-President Cde Mnangagwa, we are fully behind this cause and we are determined to see that this matter is taking its logical conclusion hence we vow our support to the cause for which we are to begin.”
The Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education, Josiah Hungwe, also gave some opening remarks at the indaba where he urged the delegates to discuss and not witness as sport is now serious business which should be safeguarded by everyone.
In his keynote address, Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane said he hopes that the deliberations by the delegates will map a new path in the collective struggle against corruption and related practices in sport.
“At this juncture, let me state categorically that Government policy does not offer solace to corruption in all its forms.
“The burgeoning National Sport and Recreation Policy strongly deplores corruption and envisages also a stringent legal framework to help combat this scourge. There shall be no sacred cows in this regard,” said Hlongwane. And to get the ball rolling yesterday, Bindura University of Science Education vice-chancellor Eddie Mwenje gave the first plenary presentation on the overview on match-fixing and corruption in sport.
African Union Sports Council Region Five general manager Stanley Mutoya had a presentation on transnational perspectives on match-fixing and corruption.
Seasoned administrator and a member of Interpol, Brighton Mudzamiri, also had a demonstration on the cancer.