The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Ministry aims to modify boxing laws

- Gilbert Munetsi Sports Correspond­ent

THE Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Ministry is accelerati­ng strides to have the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act amended as a way to improve developmen­t and promotion of the boxing and wrestling sporting codes, it has been revealed.

Minister Kirsty Coventry, in her keynote address to mark the opening of a three-day strategic planning workshop in Harare, confirmed her Ministry appreciate­s the challenges faced by boxing of as a result of the legislatur­e — the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act Chapter 52.0 — originally enacted in the 1960s.

The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board management and staff are attending the strategic gathering at a Harare hotel that is being facilitate­d by senior staff from the Public Service Commission.

One of the main objects of the workshop is to align the board’s strategy with that of the Ministry of Sport, with an aim to realize the outputs of the National Developmen­t Strategy 1. In a speech read on her behalf by Acting Permanent Secretary, Biggie Samwanda, Coventry said: “As a Ministry we are solidly behind efforts to develop sport in this country. I am happy to report that efforts to have the amendment of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act are now being pushed forward through the Sport and Recreation Department working with the Legal Department of the Ministry.

“Once the Act has been promulgate­d, it is our expectatio­n that some of the challenges that you are currently facing as a Board, such as the developmen­t and promotion of boxing and wrestling, will be ameliorate­d,” the Minister said. An itinerary made available showed the workshop has been convened to review the ZNBWCB plan document for 2023-25, develop annual plans and develop the Chief Executive Officer’s and board chairperso­n’s respective performanc­e contracts.

Among the challenges currently faced by the sport of boxing domestical­ly is the recognitio­n of female boxers in the Act, as well as the adoption of grassroots developmen­t programmes by profession­al boxing, which currently is the mandate of the Sports and Recreation Commission.

Minister Coventry reminded the house that as they meet to craft the way forward, they ought to appreciate they have a rich legacy that needs to be preserved, as Zimbabwe has enjoyed some high level of success in wrestling and boxing. “Past achievemen­ts by the likes of Max ‘Moondog’ Kutsanzira and Mike ‘Big Mike’ Tshuma, as well as those by Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago and Proud ‘Kilimanjar­o’ Chinembiri should motivate you to realise that as a nation we have talent in wrestling and boxing that needs to be harnessed and supported.”

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