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Mnangagwa to preside over Bosso, Dembare Uhuru Cup showdown

by Staff reporter
17 Apr 2022 at 09:09hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa witnessing tomorrow's Independence Cup final between the country's football giants, Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium is a significant moment in the history of the celebratory football fixture.

The Head of State usually delivers the speech in the morning before the task of presiding over the football match is left to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

However, on this occasion, President Mnangagwa is expected to remain at the venue after the morning festivities to lead the pre-match as well as post-match proceedings, which means the winning team will have the trophy presented to them by the country's number one citizen.

Deputy Chief Secretary and Presidential Communications in the Office of the President and Cabinet, George Charamba said it has been long since a sitting President actually watched the match.

"On rare occasions did we have then Prime Minister watch the match. President Canaan Banana used to preside over such events. In 1980-81, we had both the President and Prime Minister watch the match.

It is way back in time  that we had the sitting Head of State watching the match, it has always been the Minister of Sport who used to be preside over,'' said Charamba.

What makes the President watching tomorrow's showdown even more special is that it is happening on a day the City of Kings is hosting the Independence Day celebrations for the first time ever.

"It's symbolic that this time around we have a Head of State coming to watch the match, not only a match, but in Zimbabwe's second largest city.

That adds to the excitement, the President will preside over the pre-match proceedings and hand over the trophy, that comes with the territory,''

President Mnangagwa has always been a football lover. In an interview with international media in January 2018, the President declared that locally he supports FC Platinum and is a fan of Chelsea in the English Premiership.

But being the patron of FC Platinum has not stopped the President from aiding other local teams whenever they need his support.

In June 2015 when President Mnangagwa was the country's Vice President, he officially handed over a team bus to Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium. Bosso had purchased the bus through a partnership with their long standing benefactor, Rtd Colonel Tshinga Dube.

On that day, President Mnangagwa was presented with a Highlanders shirt and he went on to donate US$500 towards fuelling the Bosso bus.

In February last year, then Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe and the club's board chairperson Luke Mnkandla met with President Mnangagwa at State House in Bulawayo where they presented him with a Bosso replica shirt.

In that meeting the President offered Bosso assistance with their mining venture in Inyathi. The following month, Dynamos also presented the President with their replica inscribed with his initials at the back at State House in Harare.

The President has also hosted at his  offices two of the country's top foreign based footballers, Marvelous Nakamba and Tinotenda Kadewere.

He also presided over a fund raising dinner for the national team ahead of the African Cup of Nations finals held in Egypt in 2019.

Source - The Sunday News