LOCAL authorities must desist from allocating residential or business stands on land meant for sporting activities, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Nokuthula Matsikenyere has warned.
Minister Matsikenyere’s sentiments, expressed during the official opening of Range Sports Shop in Mutare on Monday afternoon, come against the backdrop of construction of houses on land that used to be reserved for different sporting activities.
In Chipinge urban, for example, the local authority allocated residential stands on a golf course, while in Mutare, stands will soon be allocated at the former Dangamvura Golf Course.
“It is regrettable that we now have many local authorities that are allocating residential or business stands on pieces of land that are meant for sporting activities.
“This must never be allowed to happen. We should put an end to this and ensure that we respect sports as an industry that is capable of transforming lives and being a livelihood for many,” said Minister Matsikenyere.
She commended Range Sports for opting to invest in Manicaland.
“We really want to thank companies such as Range Sports who have found it prudent to play a part in developing our sports industry. I can assure you that your decision to spread your tentacles to Manicaland will surely pay off,” she said.
In a separate speech during the same function, Range Sport operations director, Amos Svovanepasi said: “As a wholly owned Zimbabwean company, our vision is to empower communities through sport. To achieve this, our first step here in Manicaland is to make sure that the first 10 primary schools which will purchase sporting equipment and accessories between January and February will get a 20 percent discount.
“The first five secondary schools to purchase sporting equipment and accessories will get a 20 percent discount and the first three tertiary schools to purchase sporting equipment and accessories will get the same discount as well.
“The first three corporate, sporting and Government teams are also eligible for a discount. We have also made arrangement to have all primary, secondary and tertiary schools to come to us to discuss payment plans if they don’t have cash at the time. Our long term plan is to at least sponsor one boys and one girls team per district in Manicaland.”
Linda Bvundura, Tinashe Maraire and Svovanapasi are the directors of Range Sports which was formed in 2016 and takes pride in supplying world class sports equipment for many disciplines.