Tennis saga rages


Newly-elected Midlands Tennis Board (MTB) chairman Stanley Rudhu yesterday appeared unperturbed by allegations made by losing candidate for the same post, Andrew Nyakotyo, the vote held last month in Gweru was null and void.

Rudhu was brought into office during an elective annual general meeting (AGM) held last month.

This was after the first round of voting ended in a stalemate, requiring Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) administrator Cliff Nhokwara, who was the vote’s presiding officer, to cast his vote to break the impasse.

This prompted Nyakotyo, who was seeking another term at the helm of the provincial body, to withdraw his candidature in the second round of voting.

And last week, Nyakotyo, who has been controlling MTB for almost a decade, now wrote to TZ president Anne Martin seeking nullification of the elections.

Nyakotyo also declared legitimacy of his parallel body, the Midlands Seniors Tennis, which is now running concurrently with MTB. He is claiming after initial indications that MTB’s constitution would be used in the vote, Nhokwara later shifted goal posts and declined to follow the constitution, thereby rendering the plebiscite “dubious”.

Nyakotyo also claims Nkokwara disqualified — under unclear circumstances — a Gweru club from voting. But Rudhu yesterday said he had not been approached by TZ or Nyakotyo on the matter and looked unmoved by the whole development.

“I have not heard anything from either him (Nyakotyo) or TZ. We will cross the river when we come to it. Meanwhile, we will carry on with our programmes,” said Rudhu in a statement.

Nhokwara also said he had not seen Nyakotyo’s letter, before referring all questions to Martin who was unreachable.

“I have not seen the Nyakotyo letter. I happen to be the person who chaired their AGM. You can talk to the president,” said Nhokwara.

Rudhu and his new executive early this month held their first board meeting where they rolled out their 2012 itinerary. MTB has been rocked by infighting for the past decade which has severely crippled the game in the province.