— Published 14 September 2023

Kirsty Coventry keeps her portfolio


Kirsty Coventry keeps all her hats. The former Zimbabwe swimmer, member of the IOC Executive Board and head of the coordination commissions for the Dakar 2026 Youth Games and the Brisbane 2032 Games, remains in government. She was reappointed this week by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power in 2017 and was re-elected at the end of August. Kirsty Coventry retains her portfolio as Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. Having joined the government in 2018, Kirsty Coventry’s first term in office was not unanimously acclaimed in Zimbabwe. In particular, she is blamed for her country’s exclusion from international soccer by FIFA last year for political interference in the federation’s affairs. Her detractors also point to Zimbabwe’s ban on hosting international matches due to the very poor state of its stadiums and sports facilities. The reappointment of Kirsty Coventry was not the only controversy surrounding the announcement of the new government. The new team includes two members of the Head of State’s family. The President’s son has been appointed Finance Minister. His nephew inherits the Tourism portfolio.