In line with the general mood of the country, Zimbabwean rugby too feels it could be on the threshold of something special.
In a statement they revealed qualifying for the World Cup in 2019 — the first time Zimbabwe would have achieved the feat in more than two decades — is their prime priority.
The new Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) executive headed by former international winger Aaron Jani has promised sweeping reforms set to “change Zimrugby forever”
He hopes the recent political change in the country — if it ushers in the economic recovery yearned — can also boost rugby’s cause.
“The major plan is to commercialise rugby in this country,” said Mtongwiza this week. “This sport needs to turn professional. It’s long overdue.”
Having been part of the hardworking and self-sacrificing backroom staff that almost took Zimbabwe to the World Cup in 2015, the nature of Mtongwiza’s fallout and eventual removal as Sables manager hurt him a lot.
But now in a more influential position alongside Jani, to whom he was a running mate for last weekend’s election, Mtongwiza has a wonderful opportunity to finally get it right in the quest for World Cup qualification.
“First of all we must appoint a professional coach to work on full-time basis,” he said. “Someone who is well-respected. Someone who has coached a first-tier nation.”