By Tatenda Mujeyi
The target of US$500 000 set by the fundraising dinner committee is set to be surpassed as government, corporates and individuals have taken the task as a national cause.
The warriors are already in Egypt for their fourth participation at Africa’s biggest football showcase, AFCON, and the fundraising is set to cushion the football team’s allowances and related expenses.
The fundraising has been set as a national priority with the President having set the fundraising committee which has since organised the fundraising dinner among other fundraising initiatives.
“As Warriors venture into the deserts of Egypt and represent our country before the eyes of the world and our people in the diaspora, I exhort the nation at large to rally behind them by generously donating to their welfare,” Guest of Honour at a Fundraising Dinner for the Warriors, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa said at the event.
The President raised the tempo at the event as his office contributed a whopping US$200 000 and RTGS$ 300 000 at the event.
“While some nations had set their targets to millions of dollars, the economic conditions we face had fostered for our low budget which the football administrating body feels will not deter us. While we are aware that some nations are receiving millions, we are not deterred by our low budget and we feel we have a good chance to beat the hosts in our opening game, ” Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) President, Felton Kamambo said at the fundraising dinner.
The warriors were the first African team to camp for next week’s football extravaganza on the 19th of this month and have since played a match against Nigeria which they drew nil all and are set to play their final warm up match against Tanzania on the 16 June.
Apart from the President’s Office’s donation, other pledges that had been tabled included Fossil’s RTGS$ 500 000, TINMAC Transport’s RTGS$200 000, Mimosa’s Trading RTGS$ 200 000, Maka resources RTGS$100 000, Smiley Dube RTGS 10 000 among other pledges.
Apart from the pledges an auction of five sets of a replica ball and jersey held at the dinner successfully raised a combined US$16 400 and RTGS 56 000.
The President’s trademark scarf also went on the hammer for a whooping RTGS$ 251 000 on the night to liquid fuel mogul Kudakwashe Tagwirei of Sakunda.
By the time of going to press the fundraising financial team was still compiling the pledges from most corporates who were submitting their pledges.
The Warriors will play in the tournament’s opening match against the host’s Egypt next Friday in a group A match most soccer followers is a must win for Zimbabwe if they are to entertain hopes of topping the group.
South African based Zimbabwean business, Zororo Phumulani has also pledged ZAR 15 000 for every goal the Warriors will score at the tournament. The raised funds will be audited by Price Water House Coopers and accountability was emphasised as core to the entire process.