Controversy surrounds tennis board elections

06 Apr, 2021 - 13:04 0 Views
Controversy surrounds tennis board elections

The Sunday News

Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent

CONTROVERSY surrounds the Bulawayo Metropolitan Tennis Board elections held a fortnight ago following the re-election of Tarwirwa Chikunichawa as chairman when he was meant to step down.

Some members who attended the meeting felt there was a need for leadership renewal but Chikunichawa retained his post after “ineligible” members were allowed to take part in the process.

Members who spoke to the Sunday News Sport felt Chikunichawa advocated for the inclusion of “non-members” to ensure he retains his post instead of allowing another person to take over as he had previously served as secretary and chairman.

“We went along with the process because elections were overdue but we feel things should have been done properly with clubs being given time to affiliate and then elections being held in two- or three-months’ time.

“It was an annual general meeting of convenience and I think the move to accommodate everyone was pushed to ensure Chikunichawa retains his position but after having been secretary and chairman before he should have handed it over to someone else as has been the tradition that a person only serves one term in a post,” said one of the members who declined to be identified.

Other members of the executive include Thesly Mufunda, vice-chairman, Alice Masoha, secretary-general, Chaps Manyowa, treasurer and committee members include Witness Jiyane, Zebediah Mawisire, Petros Ndhlovu, Khumbulani Tembo and Johanne Marufu.

According to sources only one club, Tomasik was fully affiliated and eligible to vote while other clubs that include Bulawayo Athletic Club, Union Club, Emakhandeni, GAP Sports, Elite Sports, Coaches Association and Bulawayo Tennis officials had not affiliated but took part in the election process.

Wheelchair tennis was also not affiliated.

Chikunichawa, however, said inaction over the past year due to the Covid-19 lockdown had seen clubs failing to affiliate and at the AGM they had reached a consensus that all clubs take part irrespective of status.

“We reached an agreement that since things had not been rosy this past year we should just go ahead and involve everyone in the process and then allow them to affiliate going forward.

“It was agreed that all those at the meeting and taking part in tennis should be allowed to participate in the elections and then we regularise our status going forward,” he said, adding it was a collective decision made by those in attendance.

Tennis Zimbabwe president Biggie Magarira said they had sent TZ board member, Gloria Gijima to observe the elections and send them a report but she had not reported anything adverse on the meeting.

“We are awaiting the report from our board member and once we receive that is when we will be able to comment and react.

“We obviously expect them to adhere to the constitutional requirements and if they did not, we will act accordingly,” he said.

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