Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) lived up to their word in the 2018 Inter-Revenue Games played over the Easter weekend in Mangochi-Malawi where they emerged winners after beating four teams from Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The Malawi neighbours had warned during the launch of the games last Friday that they had not come as tourists, but that they would scoop everything as they repeatedly said in chorus, Paipa pano – zonse titenga (There will be havoc here – we will scoop all trophies).
Inter-Revenue Games are an annual event where revenue authorities from the five countries gather and battle it out in various sporting disciplines to determine the champion among them.
Malawi hosted this year’s competition in the lakeshore district of Mangochi where the five tax collecting bodies competed in eleven indoor and outdoor games including football, netball, beach soccer and beach volleyball, tag of war, athletics, chess, table tennis, pool and darts.
Zambia grabbed four gold medals in relay race, pool, chess and netball to become the overall winner, leaving the defending champions, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and the rest rallying behind.
“When we came here, we came with a mission and that was to get everything – that’s why we said: Zonse tizatenga and we are very happy that we have managed to scoop four gold medals and a few silver and bronze medals compared to the rest of the teams,” said Zambian team leader, Moses Shuko, ZRA Commissioner for Domestic Tax.
Shuko said there had been a great improvement in his team’s performance as compared to 2017 when they hosted the games in Zambia and has since tipped MRA to give their officers enough time to prepare for the next games.
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) got three gold trophies in beach soccer, beach volley ball and basketball while the defending champions, ZIMRA got gold trophies in darts, tag of war and volleyball.
Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) got three gold medals in athletics, table tennis and football and Lesotho team got a few silver and bronze medals in some of the games and no single gold medal.
Speaking in an interview on Monday after presentation of the awards at Sun ‘n’ Sand, MRA Deputy Commissioner and Chairperson for the 2018 Inter-Revenue Games organizing committee, Roza Mbilizi, hailed the participating teams, saying the essence of the games went beyond just competing.
“The games offer the revenue authorities from the participating countries a platform to interact informally at all levels and ranks to share technical expertise on how best to improve revenue administration in the region,” said Mbilizi.
On MRA team’s failure to make it to the top, Mbilizi said much of their time had been spent on preparations and logistics for the visiting teams but promised to do better in the 2019 games in Botswana.
But ZRA has also shot warnings that come 2019 the team will scoop all the gold medals again.
The 2018 Inter-Revenue Games brought together over 600 participants from the five participating Southern African countries and the games were played at Sun ‘n’ Sand Hotel, Mangochi Stadium and St. John’s University of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI).