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SRC investigate Zimbabwe Cricket

by Staff reporter
19 May 2018 at 14:46hrs | Views
THE Sport and Recreation Commission have set up a three-member committee led by Joseph Mungwari to investigate the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket following the outcry that followed the country's failure to qualify for next year's ICC World Cup.

The announcement was made at a press conference addressed by Sports Commission board chairman Edward Siwela yesterday.

The other members of the committee are veteran administrator Titus Zvomuya, who is also an SRC board member, and lawyer Benjamin Magogo.

This comes just days after the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe had expressed concern after meeting various stakeholders.

Siwela said the committee should start work immediately.

"The SRC Board is keenly aware that sport is a public good to which the Zimbabwean public are major stakeholders. Members of the public have a legitimate right to expect proper administration of national sports associations.

"After the gathering of preliminary information, the Board has resolved as follows:

"The Board reviewed events at the Zimbabwe Cricket and made the following observations:

That following the defeat of the Zimbabwe cricket senior men's team by UAE, the ZC Board summarily dismissed the technical team that was led by the national team coach, Heath Streak.

That further, the ZC board dismissed the Zimbabwe cricket under-19 technical team that was led by coach, Stephen Mangongo purportedly on account of the poor performance of the team.

That allegations of racism and match – fixing were raised as among possible reasons for the failure by the national team (the Chevrons) to qualify for the cricket World Cup to be hosted in England next year.

That the ZC General Manager had left the country under unclear circumstances and was now running ZC from Dubai.

That the dismissed members were challenging their dismissal in the courts.

That a number of ZC stakeholders had raised serious concerns on these developments.

"As result of the above observations, the board set up an SRC investigation committee to conduct an inquiry into these matters."

Siwela said they were also aware of the swelling $19m debt that has almost suffocated operations at the association. He explained that the Sports Commission have been following events at ZC with keen interest over the years and are eager to see the organisation strong on its feet.

He also said the investigation committee has also been given the green light to look into ZC finances.

"In terms of the terms of reference of the committee, yes they do include looking into the finances of ZC. But it hasn't taken the SRC long to look into the ZC debt.

"You may be aware or you may not be aware that cricket has been subject to the SRC inquiry previously which resulted in the previous board of cricket being dissolved.

"So it's not a matter that has escaped our attention. However the issue of how the debt has accumulated over time, some of the reasons we know them and some of them the inquiry must actually flag.

"Cricket was funded by and large – and this is information available in the audited accounts; ZC have annually submitted their audited accounted with the latest being of December 2016 – (by bank loans).

"The major factor to the swelling debt had largely been funding based on short term loans from banks which have attracted cumulatively huge sums of money in interest. This is going to be subject to further investigations and the results will be communicated.

"SRC did not take long to intervene. Typically when there are issues, we proceed by initially inquiring, that is, looking into the issues.

"We do not get to the stage where we are before we have conducted preliminary inquiries and we were doing precisely that," said Siwela.

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