SPORT and Recreation Commission (SRC) director-general Charles Nhemachena has been caught in a controversy surrounding the misappropriation of over $300 000 from government grants.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
According to information obtained by NewsDay, government availed money specifically for the 2007 All-Africa Games held in Algeria and out of that grant, the delegation, which included Nhemachena, reportedly came back home with change close to $200 000.
It is, however, said the money was never accounted for and nothing material was done with it.
Several management meetings were said to have been subsequently convened by the director-general for the purposes of coming up with plans to see how they could use the money, but it all just ended in minutes.
It is alleged the SRC director-general again attended the 2008 Zone VI Games in South Africa as the chef de mission and appointed an assistant director in the human resources department to be the event finance manager.
The sources said again a variation of about R900 000 was brought back home from a total government grant allocation of R4,5 million, but there were no reconciliations and acquittals.
Nhemachena joined the SRC in 2006.
The SRC boss also stands accused of nepotism.
Asked for comment, Nhemachena said: “I don’t know where this issue is coming from because SRC funds are audited every year without fail. There has never been a year that has passed without them being audited. So I don’t know where those allegations are coming from. It could be coming from someone driven by malice against the director-general or the institution in general.”
In 2011, the SRC is said to have also received a lump sum of $300 000 as an operations grant from Treasury.
“The only assets that were purchased using this lump sum were only seven HP laptops issued to managers. Several meetings were held, ideas raised, projects proposed, promises made, but again like the 2007 case, everything was swept under the carpet,” the source said, adding that included within the proposals and promises for the budget were the procurement of properties, including buying a house for office accommodation in Mutare, replacement of the auctioned seven SRC managers’ vehicles, vehicle loan schemes for managers and renovations of the dilapidated Gweru office.
Information obtained also shows that employees were promised a 10% annual staff retention allowance from funds raised by the Commission independent of the government’s grant.
“The situation at the Gweru provincial office, which is the only property held by SRC, is in a pathetic state with cracked walls, leaking roofs, rotten doors and broken perimeter fence. With all the funding SRC has received and generated since 2006 when Nhemachena joined the organisation, the property has remained totally neglected,” the source said.