By BENEDICT TEMBO
RAJ Sharma has set the bar very high by being the first Lusaka Golf Club president to stage the presidentâ€™s putterâ€™s prize-giving ceremony outside the traditional setting.
The five-star setting at Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday night was something nobody imagined but the star cast of whoâ€™s who at the Lusaka Golf Club, the countryâ€™s golfing fraternity and captains of industry vindicated Sharma. It also explained why he is unopposed for the presidency for this Fridayâ€™s elections.
Even the abundance of companies that contributed to the prizes and the gala dinner attested to Sharmaâ€™s tested and visionary leadership.
Zambia Sugar Plc managing director Aubrey Chibumba, Lafarge Cement managing director Emmanuel Rigaux, Total Zambia managing director Damien Ricoor Dumas, European Union head of delegation Gilles Hervio, Lunte Member of Parliament Felix Mutati, African Golf Confederation president Joe Malanji, Chainama Hills Golf Club president Welani Chilengwe, andÂ pastor Moses Chiluba â€“ a staunch golfer – were among distinguished personalities.
While thanking the organising committee for putting up a splendid show, Sharma was already looking beyond the glittering ceremony and told corporate houses that he would be knocking on their doors to solicit for support for golf development.
He hailed Zambia Sugar for having staked US$750,000 for the staging of the Zambia Open for three years as a giant step towards golf development in the country.
â€œWe need you [chief executive officers and managers present] to sponsor golf development in the country,â€ he said at the event graced by Lusaka Golf Club senior most trustee Bruce Munyama.
While his company Jewel for Africa contributed immensely to the presidentâ€™s putter tournament, he also praised Zamtel for contributing K25,000 towards the event and giving 150 phones to the caddies.
Stanbic Bank gave K25,000 besides forging a partnership with Southern Sun Hotel andÂ Zambian Breweries to cater for other logistics.
Sharma also extolled members of the organising committee David Kombe, Edward Sefuke, Clive Shamwana, Renu Varun andÂ Rudolf Mugabe for their tireless effort in putting together the event.
The presidentâ€™s putter tournament, which was a texas scramble played by teams of four, was determined by taking the best shot all the way until the hole out, was won by Towera Dodia, Richard Phiri, Kelvin Phiri and Charles Etemesi on 56.2 net.
The quartet received a trophy and the presidentâ€™s jacket each.
By BENEDICT TEMBO