Monday the 8th of May was quite eventful for the Tanzania minister of Sports Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe who had a duty to present a budget proposal to the parliament and the country’s citizens. It is usually a long speech and this was done in the city of Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania. The city is about 583 KM from the coastal town of Dar es Salaam.
As soon as he was done, he hit the road hard and fast as if he was chasing a flight. But it was not a flight. He had no loved one in an emergency. He had things to do. Destination? Dar es Salam. As you can imagine, this was an eventful day for the sports minister.
Interestingly, he arrived on time. He was attending the launch of SportPesa in Tanzania. If there is one happy man in Tanzania right now, it must be Dr. Mwakyembe and he is sure that his efforts have received a shot in the arm.
SportPesa officially rolled out its operations in Tanzania. This happened in Dar-es-Salaam on Tuesday. The government official was beside himself with joy because he knows well how badly ignored the sports sector is.
“I thank the MPs for being hard on me. SportPesa is my beacon of hope for developing sport in TZ and maybe next year, they will not give me a hard time,” said an elated Mwakyembe.
“The General Assembly passed my ministry’s budget estimates after a grueling, tough and marathon debate that started on Friday. People’s representatives are not happy with the speed of development of sport in the country now.
“I assure you of my ministry’s support, karibu nchi ya michezo (welcome to the country of sports). This is an important and unique chance to develop sports and we will not let this opportunity go,” Mwakyembe told the gathering.
Interim Betting Control of Tanzania Director General, James Mbawe, declared SportPesa had been given the license to operate after meeting all stringent regulations of the gaming industry.
“This is great success for Tanzania because it will increase our visibility. We are proud of their coming,” Mbawe added.
Mwakyembe thanked SportPesa and said it is the beacon of hope for developing sport in Tanzania.
SportPesa Director of Administration in Tanzania, Abbas Tarimba said, “We are aiming at altering the face of sports development in the country as part of our vision.
I urge Tanzanians to be patient until Saturday when we shall announce formally the teams we will partner with in football. Tanzania has many talented Bwana Samatas and they shall get their chance through training camps because what we say, we shall do. In the next few months, we shall announce big projects in football.”
SportPesa was established in Kenya in 2014 and has offices in Liverpool, Nairobi and now Dar-es-Salaam.