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File photo / President Filipe Nyusi
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday accused senior staff of the Ministry of Youth and Sport of being asleep on the job.
He was speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the Ministry’s Consultative Council, after making visits to the Olympic swimming pool and sports complex in the outlying Maputo neighbourhood of Zimpeto. Although this complex was built fairly recently, for the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, it is showing alarming deterioration.
Nyusi found that the pool water was dirty, and certainly not fit to swim in. The bathrooms were closed, the toilets clogged, and without water. There were cracks in the wall, and an outer wall, which collapsed in February 2016, killing the national swimming coach, Frederico dos Santos. has not yet been rebuilt. The man who had the contract to run the leisure space beside the pool had disappeared, making off with the keys.
“You ruined my day when you brought me to see the stadium and the Olympic swimming pool”, Nyusi told the Ministry officials. “We are influenced by what you do, and that is negative”.
Managers of the Zimpeto complex justified the problems on the grounds that the buildings were designed and built at the same time, such was the haste to complete them. But Nyusi was not convinced by attempts to shift the blame on to things which had happened six years ago.
There was, for instance, no excuse for the shortage of water since the borehole used is owned by the government’s own Sports Development Fund.
“I was very disappointed”, said the President. “I don’t know whether this gives the Minister of Youth and Sports headaches. All the bathrooms are clogged up. They say they weren’t in the original programme, but now we have to see what to do with that monster”. He feared that, under current conditions, other parts of the complex might collapse.
“You’ve fallen asleep”, Nyusi accused. “Do your jobs! I can’t come and replace you in your work. You are becoming directors of things that are broken”.
Nyusi told the country’s sports leaders to tackle the problems of managing and maintaining the sports infrastructures, and ensuring that they become profitable.
He noted that the Ministry was concentrating almost exclusively on sport, to the detriment of the other area for which it is responsible, policies for young people. “I did not notice in the Ministry that there is any programme with an impact on youth”, he said.
Nyusi stressed that it is the duty of this Ministry to take an interest in jobs and housing for young Mozambicans, and hence to coordinate with other ministries, such as the Ministries of Labout and of Public Works and Housing.Source: AIM