HARARE - An official within Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is seeking to have results of last year’s board elections nullified and the entire new leadership disbanded, citing violation of electoral regulations in the whole process.
Claudius Mukandiwa, vice chairman of the Harare Metropolitan Province Cricket Association, the country’s biggest cricket franchise is now legally challenging the overall outcome of the ZC elections after he and other board hopefuls were disqualified from the race.
Mukandiwa says the expulsion was unlawful and that the elections were “stolen”, claiming that there had been a clandestine attempt prior to the board elections to block certain candidates in order to influence the vote’s overall outcome.
But during the election, other candidates who had also been disqualified were later nicodemusly sneaked into the polls.
Such was the case with Bulawayo Metro chairman Vumindaba Moyo who was disqualified together with Mukandiwa but was later reinstituted on the day of the election and so did William Chaitezvi, a Harare resident who won the Mashonaland Central chairmanship post under controversial circumstances.
Chaitezvi sat on the Mashonaland West board at the time he sought election into the Mash Central board in clear violation of the provincial constitution section 20 (1) makes it an offence for one to seat on a provincial board they are not resident to.
The election saw Tavengwa Mukuhlani defeat interim chairman Wilson Manase, who was expected to be elected unopposed and secure his own term after taking over from the retiring Peter Chingoka in July 2014.The newly-elected ZC board proceeded to elect the chairman and his deputy.
Chris Venturas, who is part of the legal team representing Mukandiwa, says the disqualification of his client together with his colleagues had an impact on the overall outcome of the election.
“The whole election must be set aside because it was deeply flawed,” Venturas, who also represented the 15 “rebel” players after the famous walkout in 2004, told the Daily News.
Venturas added that ZC had also ignored its electoral constitutional requirement which necessitates the inclusion of legal and financial experts on the board. In his challenging papers, Mukandiwa claims he was initially disqualified for “lacking sports administration experience”, but the basis of his ineligibility was later changed and he was instead told his nomination papers had in fact gone missing.
Mukandiwa, is a former club player, who apart from previously working for ZC and founding Uprising Cricket Club, has also served as a provincial and area manager in Mashonaland West and Midlands in addition to acting as the national academy manager.
“I have no doubt that they pulled out my papers just to elbow me out of the race,” he said.
“What baffled me was that a senior ZC staffer called me indicating that my papers were missing two weeks after I submitted them. I took up the issue with her boss who told me his subordinate had broken protocol for she wasn’t supposed to be the one communicating with us on such issues. My worst fears were confirmed on the day of the election when I was told I’d been disqualified.”
He further claims there had been manoeuvres to exclude from the board individuals with an “impeccable cricket background” like him.
Another electoral irregularity cited by Mukandiwa is the questionable eligibility of provincial association board heads who automatically take sits on the ZC board and have a huge amount of influence on how the game is run in the country.
Mukandiwa claims all is not well in Zimbabwe cricket following August’s elections, saying the anxiety reflected in the national team’s recent results.
“Look what is happening now, losing to Afghanistan in back to back series’… the players are reacting to what’s happening off the field. I’m afraid Zim cricket is on a downward spiral again.”