The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
RE-ELECTED Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani has insisted that there was no violation of the Sports and Recreation Act in going ahead with elective Annual General Meeting when the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) had ordered that the gathering should not go ahead.
Mukuhlani was handed a fresh four-year mandate to lead ZC by delegates from the country’s 10 provinces in Victoria Falls on Friday. The meeting went ahead despite the SRC ordering that it should be deferred due to a number of alleged indiscretions. According to the ZC chairman, when they got the communication, they contacted the International Cricket Council who then informed them to proceed with their AGM.
“We got that communication quite late in the day, close to end of day. As you appreciate all delegates, almost everyone was here in Vic Falls. We didn’t get the letter as such, the letter was delivered at the office, we got this news from all over, social media and phone calls.
“Our first reaction was to get in touch with the ICC and explain that we have an AGM going on tomorrow, Government has instructed us to suspend it, how do you guide us. The instruction from ICC was very clear that suspension of an election or an AGM amounts to interference by Government so we should proceed with the AGM. The ICC has written to that effect,’’ Mukuhlani said.
ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney, in an email sent on Thursday pointed to Article 2.4 (D) of the world cricket governing body’s constitution which states that “Each Member must at all times manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel).”
Sawhney went on to make it clear that in the event that there was any meddling, the ICC Board retains the discretion to suspend ZC and/or to impose such other sanction as it sees fit, including the suspension of any right to receive financial support from the ICC, to have Zimbabwean representative teams participate in any ICC Events and to suspend the right to attend and/or vote at ICC Board and Full Council meetings.
Armed with the communication from the ICC, ZC went ahead with the AGM which culminated in the election of a new board, with the meeting going into the night due to the late arrival of some of the delegates coming from Harare. On the matters raised by the SRC, Mukuhlani felt that they are not linked to the AGM as some of them can be dealt with by ZC.
“Also the issues raised by the SRC in our own view are not connected to the AGM, yes, we had issues with Mashonaland Central but those issues can be sufficiently dealt with within the confines of the constitution.
If Mash Central or the individual from Mash Central had gone to his constitution and followed the steps that you need to follow when you need to seek recourse, those issues would have been dealt with without the SRC because the SRC is not the court of appeal in our election. We never had a complaint from Harare, its two months now since the elections were held in Harare so there was never a complaint from Harare,’’ Mukuhlani said.
SRC also raised the issue of the forensic audit of ZC finances where they said they were not satisfied with how the firm they hired conducted the work and were engaging another auditor.
“On the issue of the audit, to be honest, that’s an SRC audit, they appointed the forensic auditor, it has been a year since they appointed the auditor, we have written to them to request for the report, they have not furnished us with the report. I don’t think its good enough to suspend an election because you want to have an audit. If they have lost faith in the auditor, they chose their service provider, it’s not really a ZC issue,’’ said Mukuhlani.
To Mukuhlani, holding an AGM is in fact performing a constitutional requirement in terms of the ZC constitution and SRC Act therefore he is of the view that they have not broken any law.
“In any case having an AGM is fulfilling our constitutional mandate, we have not violated any section of our constitution or the SRC Act. In fact we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. We believe we have done what we are supposed to do, we have not broken any law, we stand guided by the ICC, we are an affiliate of the ICC, we have to have an AGM according to the dictates of the ICC, we have to have audited accounts according to the ICC, we have done that,’’ he said.
Mukuhlani is deputised by Sylvester Matshaka, who was also the vice-chairman in the previous board. The two were chosen by the 10 provincial chairpersons on specialist skills together with former player Edward Rainsford, lawyer Lloyd Mhishi, Lincoln Bhila and Maureen Kuchocha. Seven of the provincial chairpersons were chosen to sit on the board. These were Godwin Dube (Bulawayo), Tafadzwa Madoro (Harare), Arthur Maposa (Matabeleland South) Fiona Ndlovu (Matabeleland North), Ronald Chibwe (Mashonaland West), Godfrey Nyadongo (Manicaland) and Bornface Machuwaire (Masvingo).