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Bulawayo council approves Benjani deal

by Staff reporter
06 Feb 2022 at 06:52hrs | Views
IN a big nod for football development, the Bulawayo City Council have officially approved the Benjani Community Youth League's application to use youth centres dotted around the city.

This was revealed in minutes from a Full Council meeting held last Wednesday after the Department of Housing and Community Services had forwarded the league's application to councillors for deliberation.

The Benjani Community Youth League is an initiative by former Manchester City, Auxerre, Jomo Cosmos and Warriors forward, Benjani Mwaruwari that wants to harness the talent available across the city. Through his Benjani Mwaruwari Sports Management, the former Warriors skipper had written to the council and applied for the right to make use of its youth centers' sporting facilities for the league.

In its submissions to councillors, the Department had no objection to the proposal suggesting that the proposed project would go a long way in identifying and nurturing young talent as well as improving football facilities within existing recreation centres.

The department noted that this would also enhance football competitiveness and development in the city.

The matter was considered in a full council meeting during which the city fathers debated its merits. During the discussions, Ward 5 Councillor Felix Mhaka said while he appreciated the proposal, he felt that the facility to use these youth centres should be also open to others who would want to use it.

Ward 15 Councillor Febbie Msipha concurred with Councillor Mhaka, but added that the facility would improve youth development in the city. After deliberations, council resolved to accept the proposal allowing the league to use its facilities across the city.

According to the council minutes, it was resolved "That the proposal by Benjani Mwaruwari Sports Management to establish Community Youth League and use Recreation centres sports field be acceded."

Council also resolved "That Recreation Centres sports fields where public facilities that serve interests of all stakeholders and as such Benjani Mwaruwari Sports Management must use these facilities like all other stakeholders."

In addition, the council resolved "That Benjani Mwaruwari Sports Management be allowed to improve these facilities to suit their proposed project provided such improvements were guided by Council and came without any conditions attached to them."

Mwaruwari welcomed the council's decision and thanked the councillors for giving football development a chance. Mwaruwari said when he made the application, he was hopeful that the municipality would see the vision behind the league and decided in favour of his application.

"I am happy that our council saw it fit to approve our application. This confirms that our council is community oriented and is keen to see football continue to be developed in the city. This league is not about Benjani, but about the scores of Benjanis and Peter Ndlovus and Zenzo Moyos in the city who need a platform to play football," Mwaruwari said from South Africa where he is part of the SuperSport panel currently analysing the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Cameroon.

"This is a big step for both the council and the BCYL towards the common goal of football and youth development. We need to keep kids off the streets and engage in useful activities which will keep them away from drugs and crime," Mwaruwari added.

Retired football and administrator, Sikhumbuzo Ndebele also welcomed the development calling it "a shot at life" for the beneficiaries of both the league and the council's decision to avail its facilities.

The Benjani Community Youth League was launched in December last year at a glittering function at a local hotel with luminaries from football legends to media practitioners gracing the function.

At the launch, Mwaruwari called on all stakeholders to play their part in the development of football if Zimbabwe is to get past their perennial tag of 'potential unfulfilled'.

Source - The Sunday News
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