ZimEye(Harare) Zimbabwe’s Sports minister, David Coltart has defended himself on his recent announcement in which he said that ‘New Zealand has an obligation to tour Zimbabwe and that if needed, he will travel to New Zealand to persuade the government to allow the New Zealand team to tour Zimbabwe’. David was responding to an opinion article published on the ZimEye on Saturday Below is his detailed response.
‘…there has to be a quid pro quo – that is our position. All the sanctions must be lifted only when people like Roy are released and there is complete liberalisation, not before. But there can be interim measures taken to relax pressure which must be seen as part of the process of opening up the country. Likewise the call for NZ is not made in a vacuum – the broader issues have to be addressed and I have stated in the same interview that my intention is to tackle corruption within cricket.
But we desperately need to stabilise the country and to lift morale and that is why the call was made. When FW De Klerk released Mandela the SA team was invited to the West Indies- well before the Kempton Park initiative was finished – all as a confidence building measure – the same applies here. We are working tirelessly to address the fact that Roy and others are rotting in jail and the thugs are still in control of many aspects of our life (not just cricket) but that must not stop us from trying to stabilise the country – as evidenced by Morgan’s appeal to the SA Govt yesterday. Regards, Dave
Coltart is Zimbabwe’s new Minister of Education, Sports and Culture.(ZimEye, Zimbabwe)