by WELLINGTON TONI
HARARE, (ITNews Zimbabwe) – ZIMBABWE’S major state-owned mobile network operator is cutting ties with local football and instead channeling funds to the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
While the move by NetOne is a major boost to initiatives aimed to curb the spread of the scourge, it heralds the worsening of the problems afflicting the country’s most favourite sport that is in dire need of investment.
While an official statement is yet to be released, NetOne has, together with another government-owned entity, Tel One, donated $10 million towards the fight against COVID-19.
They are the second- and third-biggest telcos behind Econet respectively.
Chipo Jaisson, the NetOne Acting Chief Executive Officer, said her company remained dedicated to a better future for Zimbabwe by transforming the lives of the communities.
The firm has, through its money transfer platform, One Wallet, been involved in the disbursement of funds to the needy across the Southern African country.
NetOne is during the COVID-19 crisis sending its subscribers messages on the dangers of the virus and measures to prevent its spread.
Zimbabwe has confirmed 34 cases of the pandemic. Four people have been confirmed dead.
Caps United and Highlanders, the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams, are the main casualties of this focus shift by NetOne.
Both have been informed that 2020 will be the last year of their three-year sponsorship package.
NetOne has been sponsoring the clubs through the payment of salaries to players and the technical staff.
This is in addition to sponsorship of army side, Black Rhinos, and relegated air force outfit, Chapungu United.