Coltart must accept defeat and move on

HARARE - Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart must be licking his wounds.

Two weeks after causing a storm in cricket following the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) notice to implement his new directives governing minority sports, Coltart been left bare, exposed and with nowhere to hide.

Coltart had issued new directives which were set to come into force next month.

This was seen as a direct assault on cricket prompting fears that the minister wanted to create a soft landing for former white cricketers who would, had this been implemented, been in control of team selection.

But, in a dramatic turn of events, the SRC, whose silence had been touching when the race row erupted, prompting an ugly exchange of expletives between Coltart and the cricket fraternity, has amended the contentious clauses.

The amendments read: “Not less than fifty percent of the selectors shall have represented Zimbabwe as athletes/players at the senior level in the particular sport discipline provided that all chairpersons/convenors shall be former national team players/athletes.

“Where a national sports association has a single selector, the incumbent must be a former national team player/athlete in that discipline. Non-former national team players/athletes on the selection panel shall have coaching experience or some technical expertise in the particular sport discipline”.

This exposes Coltart given that the amendments came in the wake of a strong complaint from the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) that the minister’s directives were illegal and would mutilate their constitution.

A lawyer of great repute, Coltart should have seen it coming. There is no way his directives would have been allowed because the ZC constitution was endorsed by the SRC which, ironically, was ready to violate the same charter which it fully respects.

Allowing Coltart’s directives would have created a legal problem because the ZC would have acted ultra vires their own constitution.

We expect a lawyer of Coltart’s standing to know this.

Knowing but ignoring this leads to public conjecture and speculation.

Those who have witnessed a revolution in this sport, rightly so, suspect Coltart wants to reverse the gains made in cricket whose mass participation today is a reflection of Zimbabwe’s population demographics in that sport.

And the minister must be reminded that cricket is one sport he is not going to force his hand and claim victory — because many sacrifices have been made to allow the game to survive an unjust and diabolical campaign against its administrators! - Staff Writer

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