A fitness entrepreneur has accused the Zambia Amateur Athletics Association of frustrating efforts to improve the health of Zambians.
ZAAA President Elias Mpondela last week warned individuals and institutions organizing running activities to get approval from the Association.
But Makungo Muyembe observed that whilst the President Edgar Lungu is encouraging every Zambian to exercise to fight lifestyle diseases, an athletics Association is busy discouraging people promoting health and fitness.
“The President organises regular runs with members of the public to promote fitness. H.E wants Zambia to be fit and a running nation. Why should one get get authority from a sports association to walk or run for health… Like really!
“Why would one threaten to cancel a free community fitness event, this association has canceled several events for people just like that. I don’t really get the logic.”
“I thought an association should regulate its members or affiliates not members of the public. This association should concentrate on improving athletics in the country not focussing on social runners who are not athletes.”
Mr Muyembe who is behind the Aerobics Mania fitness movement said he does not this government would support such a move.
“I Need to be convinced that Government supports regulation of health and community fitness activities. Diseases prevention helps Govt to save money in the health sector.”
He added, “More fitness events are the better. One or two annual events cant change people’s lifestyle. I am aware of so many running groups who have been discouraged to organise community running events because of the interference of this association.”
He said he will be seeking an appointment with the Minister’s of Health and Sports and Sports to get a clarification.
“I was to told to concentrate on Aerobics and leave walking and running for the association. You cant own exercise, you cant own walking or running. It’s free!”
“Zambia shall be fit. Let people have a freedom to come together to run and walk.”