Letters: Nakamba will surely shine at Luton

It’s a new dawn for Nakamba. He has gone to Luton to revive his football career. Nakamba is still a wanderer. 

THE  arrival of Warriors midfielder Marvelus Nakamba at Luton Town football club came as a surprise to me, but at the same time, I felt that the right decision was made.

I would say it was the right decision that came at the right time. I am sure that he will make an impact in his new club.

It’s a new dawn for Nakamba. He has gone to Luton to revive his football career. Nakamba is still a wanderer. 

I hope that many football fans will agree with me that our legend will shine again in Luton.

A few weeks ago, Nakamba signed a contract with English championship club Luton until the end of the season and was looking for a new home after falling out of favour with Aston Villa new boss Unai Emery.

Emery even told Nakamba to leave. The Zimbabwean star’s last days at Villa were terrible as he struggled to break into team’s first 11.

On the contrary, the 29-year-old midfielder enjoyed his first game for Luton Town when the Hatters defeated Stoke City football club 1-0 away and won their second home victory in a row.

What pleases me is that the Hatters are not far away in the championship race, so I do not consider Luton as a small team. One day, the club will be promoted to the Premier League

History tells us that the defensive midfielder proved himself in the starting line-up of Vitesse in the 2015/16 season and made his debut for the Zimbabwe national team in the same year. 

To date, since his first match against Malawi, he has represented his country 26 times, including at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 and once in 2019.

In addition to his competitive debut in 2017, he was instrumental in Vitesse’s win in the Becker Cup against AZ Alkmaar, the first trophy won by a Dutch team in its 125-year history. 

After his stay in the Netherlands, Nakamba joined the Belgian club Brugge in the same year and helped them win the Belgian first division together with Ethan Horvath, later playing five Champions League matches for the club against Monaco, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.  

In 2019, he signed a contract with Aston Villa during the summer transfer window.

He made his debut for Villa in a 6-1 EFL Cup win against Crewe Alexandra, and a month later made his Premier League debut against West Ham.

He also enjoyed playing time under the guidance of coaches such as Dean Smith and Steve Gerrad, and helped Aston Villa survive relegation in the 2019-20 football season.

His good days at Aston Villa should be recognised by all sober football fans around the world, but he should use his bad days as a study and a stepping stone to renew his football career. The sun will shine again.

In the same spirit, Nakamba played 16 matches in the top division last season of the English Premier League.

Moreover, his football journey was not strewn with roses — after all, this is football.

In the same spirit, I personally think Nakamba is a good player, but he needs to improve his game at Luton to get playing time.

Football does not lie, if you perform poorly on the playing field, you will not be given more playing time.

In addition, Nakamba makes a huge contribution at home. The Zimbabwean Warriors midfielder is building a state-of-the-art sports complex in Mahatshula, Bulawayo, and also sponsors football tournaments throughout Zimbabwe.

I firmly believe that he is right about the development of football, because he starts from the grassroots level. What would this world be like if we had more people like him? Talents must be revealed.-Mwedzi

Govt must deal with contractors who distort prices

LAST week, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube revealed through General Notice 131B of 2023 that the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) entered into a loan agreement with Fossil Mines (Pvt) Ltd on December 6, 2021.

The two parties signed a US$88 million loan for the sole purpose of funding the construction of the Mbudzi interchange and divergence routes road infrastructure project.

This loan has a grace period of nine months with the final maturity date June 6, 2025 and a loan interest rate using the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 5% per annum.

According to the General Notice, the loan financier (Fossil Mines) shall oversee the implementation of the project and disburse funds directly towards the implementation of the project.

As is usual, questions and concerns have risen around the project, including the cost, parallel funding through the International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights, contractors involved, parliamentary involvement (or lack thereof) and value for money (VFM) audits.

The idea of the Mbudzi interchange was mooted after years of disturbing traffic congestion at the intersection of major roads High Glen, Simon Mazorodze and Chitungwiza.

As such, the project was long overdue to remedy the dire situation.

However, its cost has raised pertinent questions in the public domain when it is compared to the cost of other regional interchanges of great magnitude than the project.

In defending the price tag, government highlighted that the quoted US$88 million comprises US$65 million for the project structure and US$23 million for works including costs of relocation, creation of detours, geo-tech surveys, royalties and professional fees.

While one needs more information to dispute the project cost, overcharging of government by its contractors and suppliers is not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe.

Prevailing weak public financial management systems are fuelling corrupt activities and solidifying price distortions.

To note, in 2022, all government road rehabilitation projects in Midlands province were put on hold pending value for money audits due to this crisis.-Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development

Time to tame drug menace in our beautiful country

THE ongoing national operation called “No to illegal drugs and substances” is bearing fruit.

Drug lords need to be caged and the keys thrown away.

Undoubtedly, we have lost many youths to drugs, with some schools now drug distribution centres, which is very disturbing. Our society has been broken.

On the contrary, police efforts to cut the supply chains of drugs are more commendable and worthwhile.

In addition, the current regime should also deal with corrupt police officers who try to beat the system and create grounds for illegal drug trade in the country.

All criminal drug syndicates must be flushed out. The time has come, and it is the duty of government and the public to stop this madness.-Terrence


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