By Alois Munjira
So, the Warriors left for Botswana, via Johannesburg, yesterday afternoon.
Some were claiming they would be driving, from Harare to Johannesburg, then Botswana. I am reliably informed they could not use the CAPS United bus to Botswana, because of some bureaucratic issues.
They flew the RG Mugabe International airport to OR Tambo International airport, in Johannesburg, before connecting to Gaborone.
From Gaborone, they would then travel by road to Francistown for the match this evening.
Fair and fine, we will get to Francistown, eventually.
But, was that the best route to get there or, scientifically, the best, amid the issues of no flights from Gaborone to Francistown?
Considering we had players who travelled from Europe, and trained at the terrible Raylton Sports Club pitch, which was surprising and sad, could we not find better travelling arrangements for the team?
For starters, why didn’t we have the team camping in Bulawayo, and then take a coach ride across to Francistown, which is less than 200km from the City of Kings?
Bulawayo has got hotels, and some nice training venues, logistically, it was the simplest thing to do, in my view.
Alternatively, why couldn’t the team fly to Bulawayo and then hire a coach from there to Francistown?
Remember, they will still have to drive from Gaborone to Francistown, which is about 500km.
Qualification is of utmost importance for Zimbabwe, as a country, as it markets the country and, at the same time, pushes and promotes domestic tourism.
There is also money paid for qualifying, which means direct foreign currency injection, into the economy.
Doesn’t it then means this is a national issue?
Could ZIFA not have negotiated with the Sports Commission, and the Government, to have the team flown straight to Francistown, on a chartered Air Zimbabwe flight, which is a journey of about 40 minutes?
This is a national cause and I want to believe the Air Zimbabwe charter could even have cost less than the route we took.
The Air Zimbabwe plane could spare two hours to take the guys to Francistown, and come back, to continue with its domestic work.
It would then spare the same amount of time, to pick them up, after the match.
Was there any thought given to planning along those lines, or we are still guided about the frosty relationship, between the SRC and ZIFA? But, surely, a national cause could take precedence.
These organisations, plus the Sports Ministry, need to have a sound relationship and come together, especially when there are matches of this nature.
We should let all parties get involved, to play their part, when necessary.
These things need proper planning, making decisions, as you go, doesn’t really work. I would not want to dwell on the sad issue of Tino Kadewere and Marshall Munetsi not making this trip, even after the French authorities had allowed them to leave France, for this match.
It simply showed our lack of efficiency, which is a story, for another day.
The ZIFA communications department also needs to be honest, and transparent, instead of being cunning and sneaky.
News about the national team should be readily available, via the communications department, especially through the website, and social media platforms.
These cannot afford to give conflicting information or lies.
I still want to believe the players in camp will do the job, beat Botswana and help us qualify for the AFCON finals.
This is good for football and its development.
We just hope there won’t be any other problems in the Zimbabwe camp, like the usual bonus issues.
Qualification is very important for us and we will be rooting for our boys all the way.
Many thanks to Nyasha Mushekwi, for acquiring the luxury bus for CAPS United, which is now being used domestically, by the Zimbabwe national team.
Many thanks to CAPS United, for availing this bus, to the Warriors.
Maybe, this can also make us look at the issue, and difficulties, which Mushekwi and CAPS United went through, for the bus to gain entry into the country.
It is now serving the nation and, maybe, such things should get exemptions (from paying duties), in future, as they promote sport and encourage donors, which helps in our development.
But, then, how on earth do we have a ZIFA, in 2021, which do not have an official bus, or buses, for the national teams?
How come ZIFA don’t even have a car, or a scooter for the messengers, or a bicycle?
Well, Knowledge Musona is around and that, in itself, instils some confidence in all of us.
He has been a fantastic captain for us, over the years, and I hope this is going to be Loga’s first victory for the Warriors.
Alois Bunjira is a former Zimbabwe international forward, who was part of the pioneer crew to represent the country at the AFCON finals, in Tunisia in 2004. He is now a leading football pundit in the country.