Politicians should not administer sport

Zimbabwe National Football Team

As a social democratic political party, the MDC firmly believes that sport is an integral component of modern day human life.
Indeed, sport is no longer just a past time or a hobby; it has evolved into becoming an income-generating industry on its own. The world over, millions of young people are now earning a decent and comfortable living as a result of participating in professional sporting activities such as football, rugby, tennis, cricket, basketball, golf etc.

In particular, football has become a multi-billion dollar global business and many footballers have become millionaires through playing professional football; especially in the major leagues such as the English Premiership, La Liga in Spain, the Bundesliga in Germany and Serie A in Italy. In Zimbabwe, we have footballers who have successfully managed to brand themselves into global soccer icons such as Peter Ndlovu, Moses Chunga, Bruce Grobbelaar and Benjani Mwaruwari, just to mention a few.

Professional sport has become big business. It has also managed to bring peace, love and unity amongst people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds. As a nation, we are all very proud of the exploits of Kirsty Coventry who has won several gold medals at swimming competitions at the Olympic Games. More recently, our national women football team, the Mighty Warriors, brought us immense joy and excitement as they achieved a historic feat of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games to be played in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The MDC firmly believes that politicians shouldn’t be actively involved in the administration of any sporting organisation. Sport should essentially be administered by non - political actors in order to ensure that there is no unnecessary polarisation and friction amongst sportspersons and fans who follow and enjoy various sporting disciplines.This is the main reason why the global football association, FIFA, is very strict in ensuring that there shouldn’t be any political interference in the manner in which national football associations are administered.

By its very nature, politics can be very toxic and confrontational and perhaps, this is the rationale behind the principle adopted by FIFA that political interference is strictly forbidden in soccer administration.

More importantly, the MDC also advocates for a policy whereby sports administration in the various sporting disciplines is essentially left in the hands of people who have actively participated in the particular sport as players, administrators or stakeholders in a meaningful and tangible way. Put simply, sports administration should never, ever be contaminated by the involvement and participation of practising and active politicians.

In addition, fly-by-night opportunists and some other such chancers should never be granted the opportunity to become top level sports administrators. These people, almost invariably harbour certain ulterior motives that may not be in the best interests of all concerned stakeholders.

Football is arguably the world’s most beautiful game. As such, practising and active politicians should keep away from holding positions in the day to day administration of a sport that is keenly followed and supported by millions of Zimbabweans. Politicians should be involved in politics and football stakeholders such as former soccer players and some other such persons with a direct link to football should be left to administer football affairs.

MDC: Equal Opportunities For All

Obert Chaurura Gutu
National Chairperson
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Patrick Zhuwawo should be brought to order

Obert Gutu - National Spokesperson

The MDC would like to register its extreme displeasure and disappointment with the recent statement attributed to Patrick Zhuwawo, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in which he threatened to impose a 10% levy on all foreign - owned companies.

Zhuwawo should be strongly reprimanded for advancing extortionist policies on already over – burdened and struggling companies. The Minister’s draconian proposal is not only retrogressive but will most certainly cripple the few companies still operating in Zimbabwe. Decades of rampant corruption and misguided economic policies combined with gross mismanagement and thievery by the Zanu PF regime have already reduced capacity utilisation to around 34% in industry according to the official statistics recently published by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in conjunction with the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.

The proposed new levy, coming on top of a myriad of other levies and taxes, will cripple the few existing foreign firms who are going to be forced to pay. The MDC finds it extremely absurd that Zhuwawo would exhibit such kind of archaic and medieval thinking that is essentially centred around illegal and unconstitutional asset–grabbing. It is this kind of retrogressive and anachronistic policy making that has reduced Zimbabwe into a basket case and a virtual banana republic in a very short period of 35 years since the country attained independence from British colonial rule.

It is beyond reasonable doubt that Zhuwawo’s real intention is not to benefit the majority of the people of Zimbabwe but to perpetuate the Zanu PF regime’s culture of patronage that will only benefit a few politically well - connected individuals and some other such regime apologists who will get an opportunity to take control of successful business enterprises at no cost to themselves. The move by Zhuwawo is blatantly criminal and unconstitutional and thus, should be strenuously resisted by all right – thinking and patriotic Zimbabweans.

Zhuwawo should be advised not to conduct himself like a bull in a china shop. He should sober down and desist from being delusional and excitable. His bullish and thuggish approach to issues to do with economic empowerment can only be a recipe for socio - economic doom and political mayhem. It boggles the mind why Zhuwawo is so hell bent on decimating what is left of the formal economy in Zimbabwe.

The Zanu PF regime has developed a macabre penchant for wanting to pauperise the majority of the people and in the process, virtually turning every Zimbabwean into a beggar or at the very least, an indigent and struggling vendor. Zhuwawo’s ill–conceived and ill–thought out proposal for an additional levy will inevitably escalate capital flight and in the process, exacerbate the suffering of the majority of Zimbabweans who are already living in poverty and destitution.

An MDC government will craft policies and programs that will stimulate the growth of our agro - based economy which will in turn, guarantee food security, investment and job creation. This will be achieved through the strengthening and stimulation of macro - economic stability, leveraging the country’s potential in order to attain efficient, inclusive and pro-poor growth capable of generating jobs and uplifting the standards of living of the majority of our people.

An MDC government will ensure that the economy accommodates every citizen of Zimbabwe regardless of race, colour or creed. It is our vision to do away with all retrogressive and punitive legislation that has the net effect of stifling both domestic and foreign direct investment. We earnestly and fervently hope and pray that Patrick Zhuwawo’s Stalinist and Stone Age economic template shall never see the light of day.

The MDC believes in the creation of a social democratic state underpinned by good governance, democracy, honesty, transparency, accountability, the rule of law and respect for the principle of constitutionalism. We would like to cultivate a culture of obedient or servant leadership, freedom, non-racialism, non-sexism and solidarity. These values are sacrosanct, indivisible and non-negotiable. An MDC government will be able to sustain and guarantee genuine, broad-based and holistic socio - economic and political empowerment of all the citizens of Zimbabwe.

MDC: EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson
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