Gender Equality: Econet Adopts, Rescues Mighty Warriors

Harare - Images of abandoned Zimbabwe women soccer players, allegedly paid only a paltry $5 as allowances by the mother body ZIFA, after winning two games against Namibia, again revived the sorry state of local sport and marginalisation of women in general.  

And as the sad events unfolded, ZIFA remained mum as the torture of the victorious squad continued, Kwese TV Zimbabwe Country Head Dorothy Zimuto could not take it anymore. 

“After learning about what the Mighty Warriors went through and as a woman and Head of Kwese TV in Zimbabwe, I decided to adopt the Mighty Warriors so that they are paid as much money as their male counterparts. 

“We are going on the ground to get more details on what the Mighty Warriors were promised and all their expectations and then we will release the funds,” she said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has offered to release about R250 000 to settle expenses for the Mighty Warriors during the COSAFA women championships in Bulawayo in September last year.
Mighty Warriors Protest at ZIFA Village 

“The funds (R250 000) will be released soon,’’ added Zimuto. 

The recent announcement by Kwese TV to take over sponsorship of the Mighty Warriors participation in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers comes at a time when the cooperate world has abandoned soccer in the country, mainly due to many controversial decisions.

Philip Chiyangwa, the ZIFA president was excited with the development.

"It’s something that we have been discussing and it’s refreshing that we are now seeing the results, game-changing results, and you should know that I have always enjoyed cordial relations with the Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa who is representative of greatness in business in this country,’’ said Chiyangwa.

"They have already paid the COSAFA Cup expenses for the teams which took part in the women’s tournament in Bulawayo last year and the Mighty Warriors, just like their counterparts, Bafana Bafana, will be getting their dues.

Kwese TV were the official broadcasters of the COSAFA Senior Women Challenge tournament in Bulawayo and have paid R750 000 into the coffers of the organisation.

The soccer impasse at ZIFA has irked the Sports minister, Kazembe Kazembe.

“To be very honest, we are equally disturbed. That shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. It’s unacceptable in any language. We have spoken with the SRC in no uncertain terms that there is no explanation whatsoever to allow that situation to take place in the first place.

“I mean if you look at the figures the Mighty Warriors are asking for, surely, it’s totally unacceptable. There are no two ways about it. That’s the other reason why we brought the SRC here because I am not impressed at all that surely we can have our Mighty Warriors playing very well, doing very well and then we fail to pay them.’’

The minister said such events must not be allowed to happen, especially to the girl child.

"I have made it clear to ZIFA that such issues should not be allowed to happen, especially when it comes to the girl child. They have done the nation proud, they won in Namibia, they won here, so we should have arranged their payment way before.

“But I guess that’s an issue that can be taken care of and the SRC have assured me that it won’t happen in future.

Sports Commission acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere said they have since asked ZIFA to submit a report on what transpired. “We have asked ZIFA to give us a detailed report as soon as possible,” said Muchechetere.

ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said they had resolved the matter.

“The Mighty Warriors issue has come to an end and the Mighty Warriors have left for their respective homes. As we previously said and indicated all their outstanding amounts will be deposited directly into their bank accounts,” said Gwesela.

Zimbabwe face Zambia in the second and final qualifying round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations in June. - Online Sources 

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