Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry has paid tribute to former President Robert Mugabe for his contribution to the sports sector during her swimming career.

Much has been said about the contribution of former president Robert Mugabe who is credited for ensuring access to health and education for the black majority.

While a strong education system was one of the main pillars of Robert Mugabe’s rule, Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry has acknowledged the contribution of the former president in the sports sector.

“Whenever we were going to the Olympics or the African games I remember that we received so much support because the former president had interest in sport. He made sure that the athletes were happy and his passing on brings sadness,” said Minister Coventry.

While sport has often been regarded as insignificant by many within the Zimbabwean society, former president Mugabe will be remembered for the attention he accorded to the sports sector.

When available, the former president attended high profile sporting events, with athletes who excelled during his reign getting significant monetary rewards.

The current sports minister is among athletes that benefitted from the former president’s commitment to developing sport after being given a diplomatic passport and $100 000 upon returning from the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she scooped 1 gold and 3 silver medals.