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Zim Warriors to open 2019 AFCON finals with June 21 date against Egypt



Zim Warriors

ZIMBABWE’S Warriors will open the 2019 AFCON finals with a showdown against Mohamed Salah and his Pharaohs of Egypt at the Cairo Stadium on June 21 in a repeat of the national team’s first match at the continent’s premier football showcase in Tunisia 15 years ago.

The Warriors were the first team to be picked at the draw, held against a spectacular background of the Pyramids, and were immediately thrust into Group A which is headlined by the hosts who will be staging the tournament for the first time in 13 years.

Sunday Chidzambwa and his troops will also have another duel against the DRC, who were in their qualifying group, and Uganda, in a tough Group A.

The Warriors took four points from the Congolese, beating them 2-1 in Kinshasa before the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw at the National Sports Stadium where Knox Mutizwa’s goal, which could have given the hosts a two-goal lead, was controversially disallowed by Egyptian match officials.

And, at the end of the qualifiers, the Warriors found themselves enjoying a two-point cushion, at the top of their group, having the luxury of knowing that even if they had donated the three points they won in Kinshasa to the DRC, they would still have made it to the AFCON finals.

The Warriors have played the Pharaohs at the Nations Cup before – the Egyptians were the first opponents Chidzambwa and his men faced in their first game at the AFCON finals in Tunisia in 2004 in a match the Pharaohs won 2-1.

That game will always be remembered for the glaring last-gasp miss by Wilfred Mugeyi, which would have handed the Warriors the draw their performance deserved, while the then skipper Peter Ndlovu scored Zimbabwe’s goal.

The Warriors have never played the DRC and Uganda at the Nations Cup finals.

Mustapha Hadji, one of the best players to come out of the continent who starred for Coventry City and Aston Villa in his career, was the star who picked the Warriors from the hat.

That meant Zimbabwe would have to play Egypt in the first game in Cairo, the first competitive duel between the two nations in that city since that ill-fated World Cup qualifier in 1993 which the Pharaohs won 2-1 only for FIFA to nullify the result and order a replay.

The two teams also met in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in Alexandria and Egypt needed a controversial last-minute penalty, converted by Mohamed Aboutrika, for them to steal a 2-1 win after Knowledge Musona had scored for the Warriors.

Salah then scored a hattrick at the National Sports Stadium as Egypt raced to a 4-2 victory.

With the top two teams guaranteed of a place in the knockout rounds, and the four best third-placed sides also going through, the Warriors can fancy their chances because they can compete against the Pharaohs while they should do fine against the Congolese and Uganda.

The format could mean that one win, in the group games, might be enough for a team to go through to the knockout stages depending on results elsewhere.

‘’There is a country that we never mention and I think their potential is massive,’’ retired former South African footballer Stanton Fredericks, who was a pundit on SuperSport last night, said in reference to the Warriors.

‘’We have so many of their players playing in our local league and that’s Zimbabwe, very exciting brand of football, going forward.

‘’Zimbabwe cannot be discounted in this competition.’’

The Warriors have been impressive in recent years and were the only Southern African nation at the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon.The Herald

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Fortune Chasi replaces Gumbo as Energy Minister



Fortune Chasi

President Mnangagwa has appointed Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Fortune Chasi as the new minister of Energy and Power Development while Minister Gumbo has been appointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring.

The President also appointed Engineer Mackenzie Ncube as the new chairman of the National Oil Infrastructure Company board.

In a statement last night, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda said the appointments were with immediate effect.

“His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde ED Mnangagwa has made the following senior appointments and re-assignments:

“Hon Minister Joram MacDonald Gumbo has been appointed Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring.

“Hon Fortune Chasi, current Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development has been appointed Minister of Energy and Power Development,” read the statement.

Engineer Ncube replaced Mr Jemias Madzingira who was retired.

President Mnangagwa appointed Minister Gumbo as Cabinet Minister and Cde Fortune Chasi as deputy minister last year after winning the 2018 harmonised elections.

Prior to his appointment last year, Minister Gumbo had served as Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister in the previous Cabinet.

Engineer Ncube is a former Member of Parliament. The Chronicle

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Zimbabwe set to rebase economy after adopting a new currency



Zimbabwe Economy

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister announced the rebasing of the economy on Wednesday, following the adoption of a new currency earlier this year, and said growth would be slowed this year by a drought and a cyclone that hit eastern regions.

The Zimbabwe economy grew higher than expected in 2018, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told parliament.

The central bank scrapped the peg between its quasi-currency bond note and electronic dollars against the U.S dollar in February and merged them into a single transitional currency called the RTGS dollar.

Rebasing the Zimbabwe economy broadly means changing the reference points used to calculate the country’s gross domestic product.

The southern African nation rebased its economy last October boosting it by 40% to $25.8 billion and Ncube said the adoption of the RTGS$ required another rebasing exercise, which put the economy at RTGS$70.1 billion or $21 billion at the official exchange rate.

Ncube said the Zimbabwe economy had grown by 6.2 per cent in 2018 compared to an initial forecast of 3.1 per cent but he saw growth being throttled this year by “severe economic shocks”, including a drought that has wilted crops and a cyclone that hit western parts of Zimbabwe in March.

He said Zimbabwe had 876 000 tonnes of maize in strategic grain reserves, enough to feed the country for seven months.

Ncube said the national treasury’s austerity measures had meant a budget surplus of RTGS$443 million was recorded in the first quarter and added that the target of a budget deficit of 5% of GDP would be achieved this year. Reuters

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Early camp for Zimbabwe Warriors



Zimbabwe Warriors 2019

Zimbabwe Warriors will go in camp early as they prepare for their AFCON opening match against the hosts Egypt on June 21.

Sunday Chidzambwa is to split the 34-man squad if there are to reach the COSAFA finals.

Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare says the team will flight straight from Nigeria to Egypt after their friendly game on the 8th.

“We are going to COSAFA and we are taking 34 players, we are going to play two games and then the other 18 players will then go to Nigeria to play on the 8th.

“18 players will leave for Nigeria on the 5th and play on the 8th, the other five players will then follow to make up the 23 players for the AFCON tournament.,” he said.

Mpandare says that the final 23 will be selected on merit.

“Selection will be based on the performance during the COSAFA tournament and the coaches will then select the final 23 from there.

“To us the COSAFA tournament is more like training games for us, so we actually going to camp in Durban and then the two games that we will be playing, will be like training games to us.

“Which I think will add value. We have played with the so-called inferior teams and it helps us in a certain way. But the big game is coming on the 8th, we might even have another friendly which a team still yet to confirm,” he said.

Zimbabwe won last year’s COSAFA and Mpandare says it’s a platform for them to assess and prepare for AFCON.

“But at the end of the day, we need those games because even the last time in 2018 when we were preparing for the AFCON qualifiers, it helps us in a big way.

“We won the COSAFA tournament with the same players that then participated in the AFCON qualifiers. So I think in as much as most teams are sending weak teams it will give us the competitive edge that we think we need,” he said.

George Chigova (Polokwane City), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank United), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)

Dennis Dauda (Lusaka Dynamos), Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest)

Danny Phiri(Golden Arrows), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Tafadzwa Rusike (Zanaco), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Talent Chawapihwa (Amazulu), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah), Knowledge Musona (RSC Anderlecht), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans SC), Rodwell Chinyengetere (Baroka FC)

Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Evans Rusike (Supersport United), Walter Musona (Polokwane City), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City)H-Metro

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