By Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) workers based at the main office in Newlands, Harare, were yesterday locked out of the building by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and had to return home unsure about their future.
This follows the suspension of the ZC board by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) on Friday, where an interim administration was put in place.
ZC acting managing director Givemore Makoni also fell victim, with the SRC alleging corruption, among other reasons, for the suspension.
Yesterday, workers at the Maiden Drive office reported for duty as usual, but were barred from accessing the facility.
The SRC wants a forensic audit to be done immediately, while it has also recommended that criminal charges be laid once there is evidence of corruption and theft.
“Taking into account the foregoing and, in particular, the failure by Zimbabwe Cricket to abide by a lawful directive from SRC, issued in terms of the SRC Act Section 19(a) and (b) of the SRC Act as read with Section 20(c) thereof, the SRC has resolved that: (1) The failure by ZC to suspend its elective (and ignore an order of the court) and its failure to comply to the provisions of Section 30(a) and (b) of the SRC Act;
“(2) The SRC, hereby, suspends with immediate effect the entire board of ZC, ostensibly elected as such on June 14, 2019 in Victoria Falls. (3) The SRC, hereby, suspends with immediate effect the ZC acting managing director Givemore Makoni,” a statement by the SRC board released on Friday read.
The SRC ordered the suspension of ZC’s elective annual general meeting (AGM), which was held on June 14. ZC defied the order and went on to hold their annual general meeting, where Tavengwa Mukuhlani was re-elected as board chairman.
SRC has appointed a committee led by Dave Ellman Brown, while Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, Charlie Robertson, Cyprian Mandenge, Robertson Chinyengetere, Sekesai Nhokwara and Duncan Frost are board members.
The SRC set September 15, 2020 as the date for new elections.
The SRC will supervise those elections where only candidates with verifiable history in cricket will be allowed to contest for positions from the provincial structures up to the national administration.
While the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not condone government interference, the SRC reasoned that since ZC was registered with the government, they could, therefore, not escape scrutiny by the Sports ministry.
It will be interesting how the ICC will react, as they had already warned that ZC risked sanctions, including suspension and withdrawal of financial rights if government was deemed to be interfering.
In a statement to the media last night, the SRC said: “Please be advised that the SRC board chairman Mr Gerald Mlotshwa and the interim chairman Mr David Ellman Brown will be meeting with all Zimbabwe Cricket staff tomorrow at 9am at the Zimbabwe Cricket offices at Number 28 Maiden Drive, Newlands, Harare. The purpose of the meeting is to reassure staff that it is business as normal and to discuss with them the impending forensic audit.”