Zambia’s sports minister says that funds are finally in place to secure the services of Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Herve Renard.
Renard’s position has been unclear in recent months, with his contract having expired at the end of the 2012 finals.
With the financial assistance of Zambian mining companies, Zambia’s sports minister Chishimba Kambwili expects Renard to officially pen a new deal on 30 May.
“We are now ready to pay the coach,” the sports minister told BBC Sport.
“The mining companies have responded privately and I think by 30 May, we are going to have the actual money that the mining companies are providing.
“I know that we have managed to get more than the 100,000 dollars that we require on a monthly basis to pay the coach.”
“We have – in principle – agreed the contract with the coach but I think after 30 May, when the money has been put on the table, we shall put pen to paper on the final document of the contract.”
Renard is in his second spell as Zambia coach, having first led the Chipolopolo between 2008-2010 before reassuming his role last October.
Earlier this year, his charges were surprise yet deserved winners of the Nations Cup as the Zambians beat favourites Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal en route to their first African crown.
Kambwili added that the government has finally covered the Frenchman’s salary for his work since February.
Kambwili believes Renard will sign a new contract later this month
And the minister explained some of the reasoning behind asking the mining companies to help cover Renard’s costs.
“When we won the Nations Cup, almost all the mining companies wanted to be associated with the win so we asked them what they did to contribute to winning the trophy,” he said.
“We said that if they want to be part of the team winning in future, they must be prepared to part with a little bit of their profit to contribute to the development of the national team.”
There are now high hopes in the southern African nation that Zambia can make further history by qualifying for a first World Cup.
The reigning African champions open their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign next month when playing in Sudan before hosting 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana on 9-10 June.
Lesotho, who Zambia play next year, make up the four-team Group D.
“Winning the Nations Cup is not a simple thing – it’s highly competitive – so for us to win, it means there is absolutely nothing that we can fail to do, unless we become lazy,” rallied Kambwili.
[wide][/wide]All the seven districts in Western Province have endorsed breakaway of the region from Zambia.
The districts have submitted their resolutions to the Barotse National Council demanding that Western Province breaks away citing alleged abrogation of the Barotse Agreement of 1964.
The districts that have submitted their resolutions are Mongu, Senanga Sesheke, Kaoma, Kalabo, Lukulu and shangombo.
The resolutions were presented at the on going Barotse National Council at st Lawrence parish limulunga royal village in Mongu.
Delegates from Sesheke have called for the UN’s intervention in their quest for Barotsseland independence.
And resolutions from Kalabo include calls for the resignation of members of parliament from western province so that they help push for Barotse independence.
Meanwhile, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions -ZCTU- has called on the Barotse National Council to discuss and resolve issues that will strengthen unity in the country.
ZCTU Secretary General Roy Mwaba say there is need for delegates to put the interest of the people first.
Mr Mwaba said in a press release to ZNBC news that dialogue is an important ingredient of solving even the toughest situation.
And Mr Mwaba says ZCTU is saddened with the on going debate among politicians regarding the trip to India undertaken by President Sata.
He says the labour movement is shocked that some named political party jubilated over speculation that President Sata had been taken ill.
He says the action has shown great hatred for President Sata and described the action as in human./ZNBC