After a long wait, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture David Coltart, on Thursday announced his appointees to the Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control.
Mr. Coltart appointed former radio sports commentator Paul Nenjerama, boxing promoters Lorraine Muringi and Dr. Farai Muchena, as well as renowned boxing trainer Edgar Peter Hammond to the new board that will run the sport of boxing over the next three years.
The other new members of the board are Gilbert Munetsi, Tsitsi Muzuva, Alexander Kwangwari and Rangarirai Charles Dzimba.
The board’s mandate is to revive the sport, which many say has suffered through a period of neglect and decline. The board’s term is from February this year to the end of January, 2016.
Mr. Coltart appointed the eight-member board under Chapter 25, Section 2 of the Wrestling and Boxing Controlling Act.
The minister's appointments follow his dissolution of the Richard Hondo-led board in December over allegations that the body had failed to execute its duties.
Some former boxers expressed disappointment that Mr. Coltart had not appointed them to the board.
Former light heavyweight champion Arigoma Chiponda said the sport’s problems can only be solved by someone like him, who once fought in the ring. “Boxing is much different from other sporting disciplines,” Chiponda said, adding that “it can only be run by those who know about it.”
In a statement, Mr. Coltart said he was saddened by the sorry state of boxing, which holds only occasional tournaments in Zimbabwe, while the country’s boxers get battered in international tournaments abroad.
The minister said he has tasked the new board to take the sport back to its glory days when Zimbabwe was the continent’s best boxing nation with two African champions- Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri and Stix Mcloud - as well as three-time Commonwealth titleholder Langton 'Schoolboy' Tinago.
Today, Zimbabwe does not have a single boxer challenging for the African championship.
Afonso 'Mosquito' Zvenyika, now retired, was the last to hold a recognized international title after winning the Commonwealth flyweight title in 1998.
Mr. Coltart said he expects the Nenjerama-led board to uplift the sport by holding regular national tournaments that will prepare Zimbabwean boxers to compete on the international stage.