By Arthur Tagara
National Youth Games which were scheduled for December 2018 were suspended again as the organisers of the sporting jamboree fear putting participants at risk of contracting cholera and typhoid which affecting the country for the better part of last year.
The games will be held later this year in April in Gweru, Midlands Province’s capital city.
Gweru, which was supposed to host the August National Youth games last year, was badly affected by a typhoid outbreak.
This was due to the shortages of water supply in the city which led the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to defer the dates to December 2018 with the hope that the situation would have returned to normalcy.
Midlands SRC Provincial coordinator Simon Masaka who once spoke to this publication said the change of dates from August to December was the council’s decision as it hoped that by December the issue of cholera would have been dealt with.
“The decision was made after considering athletes’ safety in the town which was affected by typhoid hoping that by December everything will be in place for the games to take place,” he said.
The Midlands Observer made a follow up after the December Youth Games failed to kick to ascertain the stalling factor.
In an interview with Simon Masaka the SRC Provincial coordinator for Midlands, he said that the games which were scheduled for December 2018 were suspended again with the issue of typhoid and cholera being the same major reason.
Masaka told this publication that, the Ministry of Sports and SRC had reconsidered the issue of cholera again which made the commission to extend the date to April this 2019.
“We received a letter from the Ministry of Sports and Recreation Commission advising that the dates should be extended again to April this year”
“This has been done with the fear that since Midlands is hosting children from all over Zimbabwe chances of cholera spreading are high considering the fact that there are other provinces which are still being attacked by this water borne disease,” Masaka said.
Although an official from the health department office recently declared Gweru and Kwekwe to be cholera free, Masaka explained that risks might be there considering that different individuals coming from other parts of the country where cholera is still dominating might act as agencies for the spread of the disease.
“High chances of bringing cholera back into the province are there if youths from all over Zimbabwe would gather together considering the fact that, some parts of Zimbabwe are still having these cases of cholera being dominant,” Masaka said.