THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has caved in to pressure over Charles Manyuchi’s passport and has released the boxing superstar’s travel document.
Zimra confiscated Manyuchi’s passport on July 22 when the world boxing welterweight champion made a triumphant return home from Italy, only to face frustrations at Harare International Airport.
It is alleged that the revenue authority were demanding a staggering $70 000 import duty for the trophy that was presented to Manyuchi for winning the fight.
“I got it sometime last week,” Manyuchi said. “Zimra gave the passport to the Ministry of Sports, which in turn phoned my father to collect it. I’m happy that they gave it back, because I think it was the right thing to do. It was an unfortunate incident because I thought I had done this for the country.”
The 26-year-old star stopped Italian Gianculla Frezza in the sixth round in a sequel in Italy to retain his crown.
The trophy, a sculpted wooden, but gold-coated glove, was presented to Manyuchi in commemoration of former great Italian boxer and world champion Primo Carnera who died in 1967.
They initially seized the trophy before releasing it on condition the boxer surrendered his passport.
Manyuchi claims that he earned $12 000 from the fight with 25% of that going into the pockets of his Zambian managers.
He later received $50 000 from President Robert Mugabe as appreciation for his exploits at a luncheon held at State House in his honour.
With all the fortune, Manyuchi has begun to give back to the community. Last month, he donated clothes to Mother Theresa Children’s Home in Mutoko and last week hosted an amateur boxing tournament in Chivhu.
Dubbed the Bees Amateur Boxing Tournament, the event attracted 64 amateur boxers. It was the first of many similar tournaments he has lined up across the country as part of his initiative to take the sport that has hugely faded, back into the national limelight.
Manyuchi said it was a successful event and Harare will next host the tournament on October 24 before moving to Midlands the following month.
The ultimate goal, according to Manyuchi, is to have a running national boxing league.
“I was very impressed with the talent that was on show. We have a lot of good boxers who just need corporate support to be successful. The tournament was a success because of the support I got from Mr T35 and the President’s Office. I’m still appealing to other corporates to come on board and help this cause,” Manyuchi added.