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Corruption stinks in sport

I LOVE reading your newspaper, via the Internet. I was touched by the last publication and some missing details especially as far as Muckraker is concerned.

I am

a former African chess junior champion and nine-times Zimbabwe chess champion. I have represented Zimbabwe in six chess Olympiads.

My last Olympiad was in Turkey in 2000. Four of my teammates disappeared in London on our way back to Harare. It was John Cochrane and myself who came home.

Then after another Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia, in 2002, all players – six men and three women – disappeared in London. I was not part of the delegation because I had been labelled a “rebel”.

One of the people who disappeared in 2002 in London was Robert Gwaze, who won a gold medal on the first board, effectively making him the number-one player of the whole tournament comprising more than 160 countries.

The reality of the situation is this: as sportsmen we are badly treated. In fact, the highest corruption is in sport.

For example, we know a company would have donated this or that towards players’ allowances, but we get nothing!

So the behaviour of Highlanders officials with regards to team allowances during their tour of the United Kingdom a fortnight ago is typical!

Sportsmen from Zimbabwe are genuine asylum seekers running away from the “torment” and the pain of celebrity “status” with nothing to show for it.

The hypocrisy of the matter is that politicians accuse us of lack of “patriotism”. But I won a gold medal in the name of Zimbabwe and got nothing!

I am prepared to say more about the Sports and Recreation Commission and the many powerful people they “fear” in their decision-making. I was a victim.

Corruption in sport should be thoroughly investigated. It is stinking!

Kudzanai Mamombe,


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