Harare – The much-awaited African Union Sports Council Region Five regional sports museum will be established in Zimbabwe following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between regional leaders and Zimbabwe last week.
The plans have been in the pipeline for years now and last year the region announced plans to establish the museum either in Zambia or Zimbabwe.
They conducted researches and feasibility studies on the two neighbours for the better part of last year.
And last week, they settled for Zimbabwe apparently because they are centrally positioned.
The MoU was signed between Zimbabwe’s Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry, and the AUSC Region Five which was represented by chairman Vetumbuavi Veii.
AUCR chief executive Stanley Mutoya also graced the occasion.
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Tino Machakaire, said the museum will go a long way in preserving the region’s sporting heritage.
“As a country we are most delighted by the fact that we have been given the opportunity to house the museum. The museum itself was a noble idea and for the whole region to have decided to let us host the site is something incredible,” said Machakaire.
“Of course, we are centrally positioned when one looks at it in a geographical manner but it is always a feel-good factor for us as a country to have been afforded that opportunity to have such a noble structure, such a symbolic and iconic structure in your midst.
“We would like to reassure every Southern African citizen that we will do everything to safeguard the museum.”
Veii said the establishment of the museum was long overdue.
“We are glad that the journey that began a long while ago has come to realisation in Zimbabwe where we have no shadow of doubt that the museum has a proper home for both growth and visibility,” he said.
The museum will house all the iconic achievements in as far as sport in the region is concerned.
Ten member states make up the region. The countries are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Our history has to be told by our own people and this is the step towards achieving that base that privileges us as Africans.
“While serving as custodians, and creators of knowledge of sports in the region, this project will allow both the African Sports Council Region Five and Zimbabwe to facilitate improved designation of sporting information, a national heritage of all 10-member states.
“At the same time, it will project Zimbabwe as safe destination for tourism under the Zimbabwe is Open for business mantra spearheaded by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” said Veii.