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Visiting sports teams get free escort services — says ZRP commissioner-general after his subordinate insists on fees payment 

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By Tapiwa Svondo 


Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General, Godwin Matanga, has intervened to address an impasse between his subordinate and local organisers of an ongoing handball tournament over provision of escort services to visiting teams.

Officer Commanding Harare Province, Commissioner Wonder Tembo had earlier demanded the hosts, Zimbabwe National Handball Federation, to pay police officers on duty escorting visiting teams from boarding locations to two venues.

The Under 18s are playing at Sunrise Sports Club in Harare, while the Under-20s square off at the Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza.

Tournament organisers insisted on free escort services, but Commissioner Tembo was adamant the visitors had to pay leading to the standoff.

In a statement, ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police do not charge any money or costs to escort foreign teams participating in sporting events in the country.

“Reference is made to the on-going Zone IV International Handball Federation Trophy Tournament and the engagement by the organisers with the Officer Commanding Harare Province, Commissioner Wonder Tembo on the 07th May 2024 for escort services to foreign participating teams to the venue in Chitungwiza.

“The Commissioner-General of Police, Tandabantu Godwin Matanga, has directed that escorts services be immediately provided to the teams for free. In this regard no money will be paid to the Zimbabwe Republic Police or any individual member for the escort services.

“The Commissioner-General of Police has made it clear that the Zimbabwe Republic Police does not charge any money or costs to escort foreign teams coming to participate in sporting events in the country.

“Any inconveniences caused by the misunderstanding between the National Handball Federation and the Officer Commanding Harare Province are sincerely regretted”, said Nyathi.

The International Handball Federation Zone VI Under 18 and Under 20 matches kicked off ahead of the weekend with eight countries participating namely, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and hosts Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s Under-18 team is coached by Allen Mandeya while the Under-20s are under the stewardship of Cephas Mshati.

The tournament ends today, Sunday 12 May.