Secret bank accounts unearthed at ZRU

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 | 826 views
Colleen de Jong

Colleen de Jong

Allan Foti
ALLEGATIONS of poor financial stewardship, unapproved international tours, secret bank accounts run by former employees and lack of co-ordination between the board and the secretariat form part of a report made available to Sunday News ahead of yesterday’s Special General Meeting.

The report was submitted by a committee that was established by the Sports and Recreation Commission to look into the affairs of the local game in general and the Union in particular. The three-man committee comprised Clement Mukwasi (chairperson), Titus Zvomuya and John Falkenberg.

In its report, the committee claimed the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) is a recipient of an annual grant of 90 000 pounds from World Rugby.

According to the report, the grant is “supposed” to be used as follows: Governance — 500 pounds, administration (including salaries) — 77 500 pounds, participation — 2 000 pounds, training —

1 000 pounds, domestic competitions — 7 000 pounds, women’s rugby — 2 000 pounds.

However, it is unclear if the money was received by the previous leadership or how the money was used by the Union. The committee said it found that three pages of the audit report are missing and could not be located during the inquiry. It also raised concerns about the lack of sponsorship documents showing how much the Union was given, the Director of Rugby allegedly gets paid less than what is allocated by World Rugby as his salary, the audit report was only signed on the last page which left room for manipulation.

The committee allegedly found evidence of multiple bank accounts at the Union that either still had former employees’ and former officers’ as signatories or were not known to the secretariat. “ZRU is officially running officially running bank accounts with Stanbic Bank, but audit report revealed a secret bank account with NMB Bank with full panel of signatories being former employees or officers of ZRU,” states the report.

The committee also alleges that no income was declared or recorded in relation to sponsorship funding from Old Mutual. The report stated that funding from Old Mutual is in effective control of sports consultants, Kyros Sport.

“Kyros Sport in consultation with former employee and country representative in Africa, Colleen de Jong control the sponsorship developmental rugby (sic) through Old Mutual sponsorship. Facts could not be gathered as to why a non-ZRU member could run and manage the affairs of the sport without being accountable to ZRU. ZRU has no direct control, of Kyros Sport and instead have to ask Kyros Sport to release the funds,” continued the report.

In another revelation, it has come to light the de Jong’s nomination for her position on the board of Africa Rugby is shrouded in secrecy. According to the committee’s findings, de Jong’s nomination was not forwarded by the ZRU.

“Colleen de Jong, the former CEO of ZRU, was elected to the Board of Africa Rugby in 2014, a position she holds until 2019. The former CEO’s position at Africa Rugby is shrouded in secrecy as her nomination was not forwarded by ZRU. As things stand, ZRU has no representative on the continental Board,” the report revealed.

The three-man committee tabled findings of an incoming tour by three Zambian teams that was organised by the ZRU without the knowledge or approval of Africa Rugby or the SRC. The tours could have resulted in sanctions from the continental body.

Among its recommendations, the committee said there was a need to have bank signatories changed, sponsorship packages be revealed to secretariat, partnerships with Trusts to be guided by policy, and that members of the Union under suspension ‘should be banned from participating in the organisation or leading of any sport of rugby (sic) at any level for a minimum of five years.

The ZRU is led by an interim committee after the initial committee was suspended by the SRC.


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