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Benza to push sports cause in parly

by Staff reporter
30 Aug 2023 at 06:47hrs | Views
HERENTALS Football Club owner Innocent Benza has pledged to help push the sports development agenda in Parliament after he became the first professional footballer to win a seat in the National Assembly in last week's general elections.

Benza won the right to represent Mutasa Central constituency on a Zanu-PF ticket after polling 13 717 votes to fend off competition from closest rival Edson Chekeche of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who garnered 9 781 votes.

He will tag along into Parliament with Caps United owner Farai Jere, the Premier Soccer League chairperson, who won the race to present Murewa West constituency where he trounced CCC's Leslie Mukurazhizha.

Another sports administrator Tavengwa Mukuhlani, who is Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson, makes a return to Parliament after he retained the Mhondoro-Ngezi constituency seat.

Benza owns Herentals FC in the topflight league, Herentals U-19 in the Northern Region Division One, the Herentals Queens, as well as two more teams in the Division Two leagues.

The Herentals forward has a passion for football and wants to aid its development using his influence as a lawmaker.

Benza said he was happy to have won the parliamentary seat and having gone into politics does not mean he will abandon the game.

"I am so happy to have won the Mutasa Central parliamentary seat. It gives me pleasure and an opportunity to represent the constituency as best as I can. Football and sport in general is another constituency that is very close to my heart, which is why we have invested a lot over the years," he said. "So being in Parliament opens more avenues to do more for the game and sport in general. So the sport enthusiasts can be assured that their interests will be well represented. There is a lot that we can do for sport through parliament."

The Herentals owner will have to juggle between parliamentary sessions and football training with the Premier League side.

Through Herentals, Benza has also supported the senior national soccer team by providing some of the necessities such as transport.

His team is one of the most stable in the Premier League.

Source - newsday
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