Saturday, 7 August 2021

MANYUCHI IN FIVE YEAR FIGHT TO GET DONATED LAND

A five-year-old land dispute involving World Boxing Federation champion Charles Manyuchi and a rural district council has frustrated the pugilist’s ambition to unearth and nurture boxing talent in remote areas.

Manyuchi was offered a 2,5-hectare piece of land worth US$50 000 by the Chikomba Rural District Council to build a sports complex in Chivhu as a token of appreciation for his achievements.

The offer was made through a letter dated June 17, 2016 and signed by the council’s chief executive officer Luckson Mutara.

“The price of the land is $45 000. Service charges for water and sewer reticulation amount to $5 000. The total cost of the land offered together with service charges is $50 000.

“You are, however, being offered this land free of charge,” read part of the letter addressed to Manyuchi, who had just won the vacant World Boxing Council Silver Welterweight title.

Manyuchi outboxed Russian Dimitry Mikhaylenko in his own backyard at Ekaterinburg on May 6, 2016.

He held the prestigious belt until March 25, 2017, when he was knocked out by Qudratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan in Singapore.

Five years after the land offer, the boxer is yet to get title deeds from Chikomba Rural District Council and no single brick has been laid at the proposed Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy site.

A change of management at council has affected the process, as the new leadership is allegedly shifting goalposts. Manyuchi has since appealed for support from the Government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

The issue was raised when the boxer and his promoter Takudzwa Chibaya met President Mnangagwa at State House last month following his successful defence of the WBF middleweight title against Muhamad Sebyala of Uganda.

“It has been over five years now and I am yet to get the title deeds for the land they (Chikomba Council) offered me.

“There were people who wanted to assist me in this project but they have backed off,” a worried Manyuchi told The Sunday Mail Sport.

“By now we would have covered a lot of ground had this mishap not occurred. We have talent in the stable and from the surrounding areas, but we have nowhere to train these boys. No gym.

“The community from Chikomba was also going to benefit a lot from this project. So, It’s something that has been troubling me for a long time,” he said.

The athlete said he approached a number of businessmen, including Prophet Ubert Angel, for the project.

“I started getting pledges from well-wishers but most of them demanded to see title deeds first before they could invest.

“Up to now there are no deeds and the potential investors have backed off.” Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy director Prosper Chibaya bemoaned the lack of progress. “Nothing has moved as yet and this has obviously affected our plans,” she said.

The academy has a number of promising boxers such as Brendon “Boika” Denes, who currently holds the WBO and WBF light welterweight titles.

National champions Tinashe Majoni (flyweight), Tatenda Biningu (bantamweight) and Evans Usaihwevhu (lightweight) are also part of the stable. Sunday Mail

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