Sables debacle: Min Kazembe speaks

The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Cde Kazembe Kazembe says the situation regarding Zimbabwe National Rugby team, the Sables, who are in Tunisia, is under control.

In a statement to ZBC News responding to social media reports alleging the neglect and abuse of the Zimbabwe national rugby side, the Sables in Tunisia, Minister Kazembe assured the nation that the since last night the Sables and their management team have been fed and had their hotel changed to suit the standards that Zimbabwe has always afforded visiting nations.

“I have also been assured by the ZRU that all allowances up and until the Kenya Test have been paid,” said Minister Kazembe.

The Sables are taking part in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign that doubles as a world cup qualifier.

Minister Kazembe revealed that the Africa Gold Cup campaign is governed by Rugby Africa who licence the tournament and are responsible for logistics for all teams taking part in the competition.

“Each Union is afforded a grant to host teams and to this end we as Zimbabwe were afforded 70 Euro per person per night to host Morocco. Zimbabwe hosted Morocco on the 16th of June, two weeks ago, and the Morocco team was housed at the Cresta Oasis hotel which is a 3-star hotel.

“In addition, we afforded them a luxury air-conditioned bus for their local transportation and would have expected Tunisia Rugby Union to reciprocate in accordance with the Hosting Manual,” he said.

He noted that each hosting Union is responsible for ensuring visiting teams get visas upon arrival, highlighting that Zimbabwe pre-cleared the Moroccan team who “spent less than half an hour at our immigration services in Harare”.

The Minister said it was unfortunate that the same treatment was not afforded to the Sables upon arrival in Tunisia, contrary to the letter sent to ZRU on 28 June 2018 assuring them they will be issued with visas upon arrival in Tunisia.

Cde Kazembe urged the Sables to continue to be ambassadors of the nation by winning against Tunisia on Saturday.