Friday, 21 June 2019



THE Sports and Recreation Commission yesterday came down with a heavy hand on Zimbabwe Cricket after they announced the suspension of the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led board on allegations of defying the order to suspend an elective Annual General Meeting held last week.

ZC managing director Givemore Makoni was also suspended with immediate effect. A new interim committee, led by veteran cricket administrator Dave Ellman-Brown as chairman, was put in place to run the affairs of cricket in this country.  The other members of the interim committee are Retired Justice Ahmed Ibrahim, Charlie Robertson, former Mashonaland Cricket Association chairman Cyprian Mandenge, Robertson Chinyengetere, Sekesai Nhokwara and Duncan Frost. The committee will, among other things, probe and oversee the affairs of the association including the June 14 elective AGM, and a forensic audit leading to the organisation of elections for a new board by September 15, 2020.

In a lengthy statement yesterday, the Sports Commission indicated that they acted within the confines of the law and their decision will not be interpreted as Government interference by the International Cricket Council.

There is a danger the ousted board will take up the issue with ICC alleging Government interference, which could come with dire consequences. 

ICC last week issued a stern warning that ZC would be suspended and cut off from all activities if the move by the Sports Commission was deemed as Government interference.  Mlotshwa also said the Government has vested interests in the way sport associations are run since the organisations have called on the same Government for bail-outs on several occasions.

“The fact that Zimbabwe Cricket is a full member of the ICC does not mean that it is not subject to the laws of Zimbabwe, in particular the provisions of the SRC Act. It is a matter of documented public knowledge that Zimbabwe Cricket has been the subject matter of several controversies over the years. There have been allegations of outright disregard for its own constitution, neglect of the development of the game and related infrastructure throughout the country.

“Certain of its office bearers, past and present, have been the subject of allegations involving fraud, exchange control violations and other acts of corruption and criminality related to the monies and assets of Zimbabwe Cricket and the International Cricket Council.

“At different, and at least two occasions, the SRC has intervened, suspending officials and board members, without the involvement of the International Cricket Council, respecting always the application of the domestic laws of Zimbabwe, particularly in those instances where the concerns of the respective parties coincided,” said Mlotshwa. 

Mlotshwa indicated his newly installed board may have a lot of clutter to clear as many sporting codes in Zimbabwe are riddled with controversy which stems from constitutional and governance deficiencies, including poor financial management. The Harare-based lawyer said ZC acted unlawfully when they went ahead with their elective AGM in Victoria Falls on June 14, which resulted in the re-election of Mukuhlani and his deputy, Sylvester Matshaka, in a 13-member board.

The Sports Commission last week warned that the gathering was not sanctioned because of allegations of fraud, constitutional violations and complaints in the nomination process in one of the provinces.  However, Mukuhlani said they continued with the elective AGM after getting the blessing of the delegates and the world cricket body.  He also said they “did not violate any section of the SRC Act in fulfilling our mandate to have an AGM”.

Mlotshwa said ZC acted unlawfully in going against the directive from the Sports Commission in terms of Section 19 (a) and (b) of the SRC Act, hence the decision to suspend the entire board.

“The Sports and Recreation Board resolved that:

“1. The failure by Zimbabwe Cricket to suspend its elective AGM (and ignore an order of a court) amounts to failure to comply with the SRC contrary to the provisions of Section 30 (a) and (b) of the SRC Act;

“2. The SRC hereby, suspends WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, the entire board of Zimbabwe Cricket ostensibly elected as such on 14th June, 2019, in Victoria Falls; 

“3.The SRC hereby suspends, WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, the Acting Managing Director of Zimbabwe Cricket, Givemore Makoni;

“4. The SRC in terms of Section 30(2) of the SRC Act hereby appoints an interim committee to administer the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket, which is, additionally, hereby requested,” said Mlotshwa.

Meanwhile, in another development, the Sports Commission have indicated that they will not be renewing the fixed term  contracts of the Director of Corporate Services and that of the Director Sports & Recreation Development that expire on July 31, 2019 “in line with the rapid restructuring of the SRC for the purpose of fulfilling  its statutory mandate.” Herald


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