Athletics clubs appeal to Hlongwane

HARARE - Three suspended athletics clubs have appealed to Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane (pictured) in their duel against the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz).

Chabs Athletics, World Stars and Taflow Club all from Bindura were banned in March this year after they raised corruption allegations against the Mashonaland Central Athletics Board.

Among a litany of allegations listed by the three clubs is that the Mash Central provincial Naaz board was operating without a valid constitution.

“The clubs complained that the constitution which was in use had been written by two people and had not been adopted by stakeholders. Clubs had not contributed to towards the writing of the constitution. Naaz had gone to approve this constitution,” a lawyer representing the three clubs claimed in a letter penned to Hlongwane.

“Our clients wanted a new constitution to be written which usher elections. The clubs did not have copies of the disputed constitution which was only availed to them two weeks before the elections.

“Between 2010 and 2015 districts were operating without a constitution. Districts never met with clubs between 2010 and 2015 and so they did not have minutes for any meetings.”

Chabs Athletics, World Stars and Taflow Club also allege that the Mash Central Naaz executives Pretty Maware and Thomas Arabu have turned the board into a two-man show.

There were also allegations of misappropriation of funds against the duo.

“The provincial secretary and the chairperson of the provincial board were the ones receipting cash from affiliated clubs,” read the letter.

“Money was supposed to be receipted by the treasurer. The secretary and the chairperson had usurped the powers of the treasurer.

“Coaching courses and official courses were not recorded in what they termed their financial reports which were nothing other than unprofessional compilation of audited data.

“Between 2007 and 2012 no financial reports were done. No audits were also done.

“When our clients effected payments to the board in 2013 for their affiliation they were not given receipts. They ended up paying directly to Naaz.”                  

The three clubs allege their provincial board is receiving protection from the SRC and Naaz.

“Our clients took their grievances to the provincial SRC. The SRC ordered the provincial board to address the issues and nothing was done,” the letter reads.

“Our clients took their grievances to Naaz where the provincial board is affiliated. No action was taken.

Naaz then sent one Joseph Mungwari (life president) who confirmed that our client’s grievances did not hold water.

“Our clients then referred their grievances to SRC Harare. They gave Naaz a deadline to look into those grievances.

“The deadline passed but nothing was done up to now. It is clear that the SRC’s complicity is clear here.”      

SRC spokesperson Tiri Nheweyembwa referred all questions to acting-director Joseph Muchechetere, who was not reachable for comment.

Naaz secretary-general Cynthia Phiri, who wrote the suspension letters to the three clubs also refused to comment.

She referred the Daily News to Naaz president Tendai Tagara, who was also not reachable.      

 

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