Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE visiting African Union Sports Council Region Five chairman Vetumbuavi Veii and chief executive officer Stanley Mutoya yesterday visited the National Sports Stadium to inspect the site that Zimbabwe is hoping to house a museum for the regional body.
Veii and Mutoya were in the country following Zimbabwe’s bid to have the museum established here and have proposed to have it at the National Sports Stadium’s eastern side.
They were accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts, Recreation and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and officials from the National Archives.
Veii said he was impressed by the site and they will now take it to the secretariat for decisions to be made.
Zambia have also put their bid to house the museum and the region’s leadership will also visit them on the same mission.
“The venue is good enough, it should be able to accommodate the exhibition of all our 10-member states.
“Of course we need a few alterations here and there to make it meet the standards of a museum.
“But other than that, I am quite impressed . . . So all this, we will take to the secretariat and definitely we are going to make a decision and communicate to Zimbabwe where we stand.
“Very little alterations I think to the building will be made and convert some of the spaces into offices . . . The walls have to have more space for exhibitions of the various member states and so on. So I don’t think it’s really big alterations. But if we have a museum, it has to meet international standards.
“So those alterations will be needed in order to change little things here and there in order to meet international standards because, not only will it be a regional museum, but we also want to attract people from abroad to come and see what we are doing in our region,” said Veii.
The museum will comprise the entire history of the region and Veii said a lot of activities will take place at the museum such as exhibitions for the 10-member states, among other things.
Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation’s director sports and recreation Eugenia Chidhakwa said the regional museum will help turnaround sport in the region.
“When we look at the history of sport, you will find that the museum is going to turn around sport into a business entity. We are going to appreciate sport coming from a business perspective and also people are going to appreciate the benefits of sport coming from the museum.
“I think it is also an opportunity to also showcase sporting activities that have been done by marginalised groups, women in sport, persons living with a disability.
“If we win the bid, we hope to work closely with the region and make sure that this becomes one of our tourist attractions in Zimbabwe and it also helps in boosting our sport diplomacy,” said Chidhakwa.
Chidhakwa said it’s also an opportunity to showcase the country’s capabilities in as far as sport is concerned, particularly some of the outstanding sportspersons such as former Warriors skipper Peter Ndlovu, the legendary George “Mastermind” Shaya as well as Minister Kirsty Coventry herself.
Source : The Herald