Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Young Warriors manager Charles Mukaronda says he is not a newcomer to sport administration in this country and has insisted on his vision to turn around the fortunes of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) if he gets elected in a ballot set to be conducted next weekend.Mukaronda is the rank outsider in a tough race that includes incumbent Admire Masenda, perennial campaigner Thabani Gonye and ex-Zimbabwe Karate Union president Joe Rugwete.
The 45-year-old educationist, who runs colleges in Harare, says he has been involved in football for over 10 years during which he has had roles as the manager of the Zimbabwe Under-17 and Under-23 national teams. “Transparency and corporate governance is the hallmark of the way I conduct my business. I come from a background of trust, a virtue that everybody needs to be successful in life.
“You see, when you run a school it means you are entrusted with the future of the prospective leaders of this country, you are entrusted with the education and development of young footballers, with the school fees and all.
“I also have a very strong background with grassroots development. And to say that I am a newcomer in sport, it is not correct. I am someone who has been in sport for over a decade identifying junior footballers whom we have given scholarships at our colleges to develop to their full potential both academically and in their field.
“So far we have a group of 10 pupils on scholarship at Inland Junior School and another 10 at Loxley College. We also have several other sporting disciplines at these schools and we have a better understanding of where ZOC need to focus their attention for the future success of the nation in terms of medals at the international competitions.
“Grassroots is key and we feel this area has not received the priority it deserves. So when the nomination came, I couldn’t refuse because of the passion I have towards sport,” said Mukaronda.
Among his major points was winning gold medal with the “Golden Boys” of the Under-17 football team at the recent AUSC Zone 5 Games in Angola. He was also the manager when Callisto Pasuwa’s Under-23 side qualified for the 2016 African Games at the expense of Cameroon.
He also had a cameo role as stand-in manager of the Warriors at the COSAFA tournament in South Africa two years ago. However, the parent association where he hails from, ZIFA, have come out in support of Masenda who has been the ZOC leader since 2006. The former basketball administrator is keen for a new stint with the organisation.