The government under the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts has secured K1.8 million as part payment to volunteers who worked during the 2017 under 20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts, Elvis Nkandu disclosed that the funds are aimed at dismantling the over five million kwacha owed to Zambians, both from the private and public sector who worked when the country hosted the under 20 AFCON finals in 2017.
Nkandu explained that the K1.8 Million will be prioritized for private volunteers both in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces, while government workers will also receive their monies once the next funds are released.
Nkandu assured that government will meet its obligations of paying all those who provided services during the stated period, as he thanked them for their patience.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka, Nkandu bemoaned the delay to pay workers who volunteer especially in international and regional games, adding that it was heartbreaking to learn that some volunteers have even died before receiving their dues.
The Minister revealed that monies for international and regional games are always budgeted for hence guaranteed that going forward, his ministry will ensure to release the funds in time for the next events.
“Today I can announce that the volunteers who worked in 2017 for the under 20 AFCON finals will be paid by next week. We should remember that those people are volunteers, who contributed to a good tournament hence the need to be taken good care of,” Nkandu explained.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo boys are off to Ghana for an international camp ahead of the June 3, 2022 first leg match against Ivory Coast in the group H AFCON qualifiers in Yamoussoukro of Ivory Coast, Nkandu said Zambians are expectant of the team to perform their best.
The Minister noted that government has provided the necessary requirements through the release of K41 million for both women and men’s teams as requested by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), while it has also cleared Scottish based Frank Musonda who has since travelled with the team.
Nkandu has left the onus on FAZ to ensure there is harmony within the Association and the fans to give the team the necessary support so that they bring positive results as they face Ivory Coast.
And Soccer analyst, Musonda Chibulu said most of the boys have shown great commitment and that setting up camp in Ghana is important as part of good preparation for the team.
He foresees a 50/50 result stating that Ivory Coast is a strong team which has an upper hand advantage of playing from home and a host of the 2023 AFCON finals but he knows Chipolopolo’s strength, hence they will use tactics to help them come out victorious.
But Chibulu explained that this being the first game, they should prepare Chipolopolo boys to give the game their all by playing with confidence as if it’s the finals.
He noted this will make Zambians proud of the boy’s efforts regardless of the outcome.
Zambia is in group H fighting for a spot to the 2023 AFCON finals against Ivory Coast, Comoros and Lesotho.