Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) staffers were on Monday morning barred from entering their offices after members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police were dispatched to block out certain “targets” who are in running battles with the Sports and Recreational Commission (SRC).
This follows the disbanding of the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led board which was dissolved by the SRC over irregularities in holding an Annual General Meeting which the sports mother body had ordered to be stopped.
ZC defied the order and went onto hold their AGM where Tavengwa Mukuhlani was re-elected as board chairman.
Soon after, the SRC appointed a committee led by Dave Ellman Brown, while Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, Charlie Robertson, Cyprian Mandenge, Robertson Chinyengetere, Sekesai Nhokwara and Duncan Frost make up part of the committee.
The SRC further set September 15, 2020, as the date for new elections and said it would 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 (ICC) does not condone government interference, the SRC reasoned that since ZC was a registered with the government they could, therefore, not escape scrutiny by the Sports ministry.
However, this move could lead to Zimbabwe being suspended from being a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
ICC will react, had already warned that ZC risked sanctions, including suspension and withdrawal of financial rights if the government was deemed to be interfering
Article 2.9 of the ICC’s Articles of Association, which prohibits government interference and requires free and fair elections.
According to Section 2.4 (D) of the ICC constitution, every member must “manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country.”
Furthermore, according to Section 2.10 (A), the ICC board of directors “may suspend the membership of a Member with immediate effect where, in the opinion of the Board of Directors (in its absolute discretion), the Member is in serious breach of any of its obligations as a Member.”
When 263Chat visited the ZC offices in highlands Monday morning, there were two ZRP officers manning the entrance in the company of a private security guard.
There was a list of people who were supposed to enter while another list contained individuals who were not supposed to access the premises.
One of the security details told this news crew that they had been given orders not to allow anyone who was on the “wrong list while a few individuals would access.
Upon further questioning, the security details revealed that some of the people who had to be barred from entering the premises were Mukuhlani and former Managing Director, Givemore Makoni.
ZC Media and Communications Manager Darlington Majonga could not shed more light as he said, just like anyone else, they were in the dark.
“All I can confirm is that when staff members got to the office this morning there were police officers, the gates were locked and no one could get in,” Majonga said.
Questioned on the basis behind the move, Majonga responded: “We have no idea at this stage.”
Contacted for comment, SRC Corporate Communications Manager SRC Tiri Nheweyembwa, referred questions to his boss, Gerald Mlotshwa who was unavailable for comment.
However, a statement from the SRC late Monday said the SRC boss and ZC Interim Chairman will meet tomorrow as business returns to normalcy.
“Please be advised that the SRC Board Chairman Mr Gerald Mlotshwa and the Zimbabwe Cricket Interim Chairman Mr David Ellman Brown will be meeting with ALL Zimbabwe Cricket Staff tomorrow at 0900hrs 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,” reads the statement.