Cracks emerge within ZPCA

HARARE - Fissures have emerged within the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association (ZPCA) executive committee with some members distancing themselves from the recent ouster of chief executive Eliah Zvimba.

And now the saga has taken on a new twist, with members of the committee accusing teammate Prosper Utseya of currying favour with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) by architecting Zvimba’s dismissal in return for a place in Zimbabwe’s World Cup squad which was named last week. 

Zvimba’s relationship with ZC has long been rocky due to the labour lawyer’s firm stance on player welfare issues, viewed in the organisation as hostile and unreasonable.

The Harare legal practitioner was removed this week following the expiry of his one-year contract, with a statement credited to the ZPCA accusing him of “not availing himself at crucial times of players’ contracts negotiations as well as having an unholy alliance with the Federation of International Cricketers Association (Fica).”

Zvimba has since hit back and rubbished the claims, saying: “This is bizarre and akin to saying Zimbabwe Cricket has an unholy alliance with the ICC, which is of course absurd.”

Utseya now stand accused by colleagues of working in cahoots with ZC to oust Zvimba “in pursuit of selfish ends.”

The 29-year-old former captain was a surprise inclusion in Zimbabwe’s 15-man World Cup squad after being barred from bowling off-spin in international cricket, which has left him hugely handicapped as competitive cricket at that level of the game.

“There’s been tension between Prosper and Zvimba and there has also been talk that Zvimba himself had a sinister move to ward off some of the executive members for reasons best known to him,” an executive committee member told the Daily News on condition of anonymity yesterday.

“What I can confirm is that Zvimba’s contract expired but it’s too early to give a position on whether or not his contract is going to be renewed because we haven’t consulted all the players. If the majority of players say they want him to continue then he will get a fresh mandate and if they say no then we will have to look elsewhere.”

The executive committee member said he was surprised to learn that Zvimba’s contract was not going to be renewed after “working so tirelessly for the good of the players.”

“For me he has done a pretty decent job and in all fairness a lot of bickering took place while the rest of us were in Bangladesh, so we were told,” he added.

“If you look at it with a clear mind, Prosper didn’t deserve to be in the World Cup squad and given all this that has been happening in recent weeks, it’s difficult to deny that one of our own is working in cahoots with the same old oppressive ZC that has been sucking the players’ blood for a long time now.

“We believe he is working with the same guy who has labelled us cricketers uneducated and not deserving of decent salaries and for one of us to join forces with the same unrepentant people and push out a person who has championed our rights in less than 12 months only vindicates those utterances that some of us are not educated.

“At first, Zvimba given a mandate to negotiate on the outstanding salaries and after being satisfied with his work we agreed on a 12-month contract. A lot of us were not consulted on the move to kick him out of office, it remains a mystery on how such a decision was reached.

“To me it was a violation to section 5:1 of the constitution which requires not less than two thirds of the membership executive committee to decide to remove the office holder.”

The ZPCA executive committee is made up of senior players. Hamilton Masakadza heads the board as president while Brendan Taylor is the vice-president. Vusi Sibanda is board secretary, deputised by Utseya, while Elton Chigumbura is treasurer.

Zvimba on Tuesday wished the players the players the best for the future, adding that he was diverting his energies to his consultancy firm.

Comments (4)

I see nothing wrong here. The man hasn't been fired. His contract has simply not been renewed which is commonplace. Scrutiny should only be applied on the new Chief Executive and judgements passed based on his actions. For now who is to say that Zvimba isn't a puppet of ZC management which is why the players want to kick him out. Afterall the salaries the players demanded were ridiculous for the levels of performances they regularly display. Thay gave that mandate to Zvimba themselves. It's their instructions which caused problems between ZC&ZPCA, so I really don't see how Zvimba who climbed down to meet ZC halfway(contrary to the players' demands) instead of stamping his foot down, was doing more for the players than ZC however crazy their demands might have been. Utseya may very well be a leech but I think the majority among the players simply do not want Zvimba anymore for whatever reason and they will not be renewing his contract. Finish&klaar! Tagging Utseya's name may make the story or headlines jucier, but this organisation has a constitution which means his wings are clipped in such a way that he can't act unilaterally (deputy secretary), plus Zvimba as a mature, professional&powerful lawyer himself hasn't challenged this in a manner which indicates he suspects broad foulplay but has rather quietly walked away despite a few noises here&there to betray some discontent. So enough with blowing things out of proportion. The story lies with Zvimba not Utseya.

ZCFOutkast - 15 January 2015

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CARTRIDGE GALLERY - 15 January 2015

There is more than meets the eye to this. How many members does ZPCA have in total. "A lot of us were not consulted to kick Zvimba out" Which lot is this?. Is this the reason why the national team perfomed badly in bangladesh. Is this the reason why the A team coach is crying foul that his boys dont get a chance to break into national team? A statement credited to ZPCA and signed by which member? Who delivered it to zvimba? Which most of the people are happy with zvimba's work. Does the constitution require two thirds to fire Zvimba? Does the ZPCA statement carry two thirds majority? This is what happens when the whole broad management of a spot breaks down and fails. Stop politics and play cricket. World cup is next month , I will be watching all your action in the field of play.

X-MAN IV - 15 January 2015

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