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Soccer tournament held to honour President Mnangagwa

Soccer tournament held to honour President Mnangagwa

Story by Raynald Ngwarati

A soccer tournament was held this Sunday at Prince Edward grounds to celebrate President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 81st birthday.

Celebrating the life of an iconic leader par excellence, ED Sports Festival in conjunction with the ZANU PF Youth League organised a sports tournament to celebrate President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 81st birthday.

Prince Edwards’s grounds had the privilege to host the tournament, which brought together twelve teams from different places around Harare.

The tournament which targeted the youth between 18-35 years, is the first of its kind to commemorate a selfless cadre, who has given his all for the betterment of Zimbabwe.

“We’re celebrating the life of a legend, His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa as a President who empowers and supports youth issues. So we’re celebrating his life through sport. It also entails the anti-drug campaign which has also been initiated by the Ministry of Youth,” said one of the soccer players.

For the aspiring footballers who participated in the tournament, the event opened doors for them to be scouted as well as proffering a platform for them to shun substance abuse.

“I see this as a great opportunity because as youths we are now anticipating the opening of opportunities for us to be uplifted in terms of sports,” another player added.

Another added, “It creates a window so that scouts will be able to see and identify our talent. So it just creates a platform so that scouts can see me and other players play our game.”

“We have cases where we fail to find platforms for people to uplift us from the communities we reside. Especially people like me who come from Pangula farm, so we will be hoping that platforms like this avail sponsorship opportunities for us. It gives us as well an opportunity to shun some problems we face which cause some to consume and abuse drugs and some even turn to crime. So, we’re reducing those problems by such platforms.” Another reiterated.

President Mnangagwa turned 81 years old on Friday, a few weeks after he was inaugurated for a second term in office as Zimbabwe’s President.

With the nation having declared war on the vice of drugs and substance abuse, Cde Mashuka believes that availing such platforms can help reduce the scourge that has affected the youth.

“If the youth have something to do, they’ll abstain from drug substances and participate more in sports. So, we need to ensure that we support the youth, they have more time on the field and resist drug abuse, he said.

Sport can unite, and the tournament has been created as a platform to unite the youth under one roof, there is a hint that there will be another tournament of such a magnitude next year.

He added, “We chose football because football is the people’s sport, a lot of people participate in football and also we hope that next time we can have more discipline.”

In the recent cabinet, the President appointed Emily Jesaya, and the organisers of the tournament took their time to appreciate the visionary leadership.

“We’d like to thank His Excellency for appointing a youthful Deputy Minister of Sport, Emily. The move shows that the president is aware of what is needed for the youth and we appreciate that,” he said.

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