Ellina Mhlanga and Takudzwa Chitsiga
CHARLES Manyuchi’s trophy, which he won in Italy after successfully defending his World Boxing Council international welterweight crown last Saturday, was confiscated by ZIMRA officials on his return home at the Harare International Airport yesterday.
The champion boxer returned to a hero’s welcome with hundreds of supporters welcoming him at Harare International Airport when he touched down from his base in Zambia.
But the boxer was disappointed that the trophy, which he wanted to parade to the fans, was confiscated by ZIMRA.
Manyuchi stopped Italian challenger Gianluca Frezza in the sixth round on Saturday.
Manyuchi said he was happy to be back home and to be given such a rousing welcome by his countrymen and women.
“I am happy the crowd is big today, the first of its kind, and I am happy for the support. I hope I will continue to have such support in future,” said Manyuchi.
“The only thing is that I do not have my trophy with me as it was taken by ZIMRA and I am disappointed for that.
“I thought I was doing it for the nation but it is unfortunate that they took it from me.”
Reports said Manyuchi did not declare the trophy on arrival.
Oriental Quarriers Boxing Promotions manager Chris Malunga said they were now focusing on the silver title held by Britain’s Amir Khan.
“I will be going to China to bid for him (Manyuchi) to fight against Khan,” said Malunga.
“It’s just that we are not happy by losing the trophy to the authorities as we have travelled to several countries without encountering such a thing.
“I hope we will be able to get the trophy, we would have loved to parade it to the local supporters.”
Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Andrew Langa, yesterday congratulated Manyuchi, the Davis Cup and national cricket teams for their success at the weekend.
“The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, on behalf of His Excellency the President and people of Zimbabwe, wish to congratulate the Invincible Charles Manyuchi, the Cricket team and the Young Warriors for all their hard work and dedication,” Langa said in a statement.
“Charles’ journey began way back and has been a reflection of dedication, hard work, intense passion and it motivates others to dream big.
“He has flown the Zimbabwean flag high, conquering all hardships, to get where he is today. It is said people remember you by your name, but the victory we have here tells the story of your indomitable courage.
“Congratulation on your win and fearless effort wish you only victories on your future fights.
“Chevrons have done us proud in their victory against India in the T20 match. They played like a perfect team and deserved the perfect win. You met the challenge with determination, strength and absolute aptness!
“Congratulations are due also to the Davis Cup team for a 5-nil victory which secures them their place in the Europe/Africa Group II. It is courage, drive and dedication like yours that has made Tennis in Zimbabwe what it is today!
“The Young Warriors have had it tough in the past with financial hardships and the squabbles in ZIFA, but on Sunday they fought like a team and despite all the negatives press against their mother body they have done us proud.
“It is my Ministry’s wish that the young men go into camp as of today to prepare for their return leg. Many achievements and success are waiting for you to be bagged, so keep your aim high and make a plan to soar. “It is our hope that we come together as Zimbabweans to rally behind our sport and offer our financial support to our sporting icons. I, therefore, call upon the corporate world and the Zimbabwean community at large to assist as much as possible so that all these sporting icons may continue in their journey.”