Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
THE Sport and Recreation Commission are keeping mum on the appointment of a substantive director-general and the audit report that questioned their viability amid genuine concerns the technically insolvent regulatory body needs to decide on a new leader to drive them out of the quagmire.
Sports Commission board chairman, Edward Siwela, yesterday declined to reveal when the new man to take over as director-general would be unveiled.
Joseph Muchechetere has been the Sports Commission’s acting director-general since Charles Nhemachena’s departure in April 2016.
The Sports Commission have since last year seemingly dithered on the appointment of a head of secretariat for the institution that is tasked by an Act of Parliament to superintend over the country’s sporting associations.
Siwela yesterday declined to field questions on the appointment of the director-general and other key issues pertaining to the operations of the Sports Commission, which include the damning audit report presented by a Harare chartered accountancy firm, Nolands, and the board’s position on the directors’ contracts which have since expired.
“We will advise everybody when it’s time to do so… that is all I can say, no further questions thank you,’’ said Siwela before abruptly cutting off.
In taking an indifferent attitude on questions over the Sports Commission, Siwela yesterday seemed to be replaying a familiar tune that has not helped clarify matters at the public institution.
After suspending the process late last year, the Sports Commission in June flighted press advertisements for the director-general’s post.
They began their search for a substantive director-general early last year when they first advertised for the post in April and held interviews afterwards.
But the Sports Commission were forced to re-advertise the post in October as they revealed that the short-listed candidates from the interviews, including Muchechetere, who has been at the institution for the last 26 years, had been unsuccessful.
However, after re-advertising the post, they did not finalise the process as the interviews that were scheduled for November did not take place with no clear explanation given.
Then, as now, Siwela ducked explaining the cloud that was hanging over the interviews and whether they had engaged a consultancy firm or if it was the board undertaking the process.
Siwela, while admitting there were applicants after their second advertisement, could not reveal why they have re-advertised for the post instead of proceeding with the aborted interviews.
“We went over this route last time and I think what is critical for us is to tell you that we haven’t filled the post, which is why we have re-advertised it and we will actually be considering applicants.
Despite Siwela keeping a tight lid on the goings-on at the Sports Commission, the regulatory board would still have to address the remarks made by the auditors in their report.
The auditors’ remarks on the state of the Sports Commission as a going-concern should also come as a huge worry to the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the associations that have been playing their part to ensure the institution continues to survive through payment of grants and levies respectively in terms of the SRC Act.
Crucially, the auditors noted that the Commission had accumulated losses of $1,387, 415 with their total liabilities exceeding current assets by $1, 026 317.
“We draw attention to Note 23 in the financial statements which indicates that the Commission had accumulated losses of $1 387 415 and total current liabilities exceed total current assets by $1 026 317.
“The Commission mainly relied on government grants and did not fully exploit its other sources of income.
‘’These conditions along with other matters set out in the financial statements indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Commission’s ability to continue as a going concern,’’ read part of the audit.