Zimbudzana calls for sanity

Gilbert Munetsi Boxing Correspondent

ZIMBABWE National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZNBWCB) general secretary, Lawrence Zimbudzana, has implored players in the sport to shun washing dirty linen in public and strive for engagement as a solution to reach common ground in contentious matters.

Zimbudzana was speaking at a ceremony organised to send off Kudakwashe Chiwandire who travels to Zambia this week for a WBC super-bantamweight world contest against Catherine Phiri pencilled in for Saturday.

The farewell function, held at Harare Sports Club, was graced by a senior official in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Arthur Mudarikwa, boxers and supporting corporates.

In an emotional delivery, Zimbudzana maintained his office had an open door policy and any parties that felt aggrieved were welcome to seek dialogue.

His remarks came on the back of issues that dominated the week in which a section of the boxing fraternity gave the Sports Ministry an ultimatum to resolve an impasse they alleged had arisen as a result of inaction on the latter’s part. Opting for a non-militant, diplomatic defensive to the impasse, the ZNBWCB general secretary said: “We will not run away from public scrutiny because we are a public entity.

“The spotlight has been cast on boxing over the past few weeks and we have accepted that in a positive way to say if you see people crying, try as much as you can to listen to the reason why they are crying.

“Only then can we be able to adjust, but for those things that are beyond our control, we can only recommend to the powers that be so they can, too, take the necessary action to address them.

“But let me implore this to you that I believe as an office, we will always maintain an open door policy. If anyone feels injured or hard-done, we welcome you to dialogue with us.

“We can never be proud when the sector is not happy about our services.

“But the tendency of people going haywire when they have issues and fail to address the very people that they are accusing of being architects of problems they face does not do any of us any good.

“It is incumbent upon everyone — the boxers, promoters, managers, sponsors, media — to do  everything possible to jealously guard that which belongs to us and protect our interests,” Zimbudzana said. Following the first ever strategic planning workshop held last year, he announced the ZNBWCB will soon come up with a service charter aimed at improving the way the sport is conducted, particularly the realisation of the business side of boxing.

Turning to Chiwandire’s participation in the WBC high profile match, Zimbudzana said the boxer was not only representing the country, but the fairer sex as well. It showed women can equally claim their space in any sphere of life, he added. To this effect, the Government had acknowledged the importance of the task at hand by weighing in through the coverage of her camping expenses.

In a related development, ZTN, a subsidiary of the Zimpapers Group, has partnered with Deltaforce Boxing Academy to promote a boxing series under the Pound4Pound banner.

Representative of the television station in the arrangement, Morris Mkwate, said one of their key values was to promote sport through broadcasting. “We believe the partnership will give us that leverage in terms of highlighting and promoting the talent that is abundant in Zimbabwe.

“Boxing is one of the biggest sports codes in the country and externally, and we believe that the audience we have amassed over the years will support the talent to be showcased during the lifespan of our working relationship,” said Mkwate.

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