By Eddie Chikamhi
The Sports and Recreation Commission are worried that some members of the suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board are interfering with their efforts to restore order at the association’s offices as they have allegedly been going around intimidating staff to stay away from work.
Most of the ZC employees did not pitch up for work in the last three days and this has hindered a planned staff address by the Sports Commission and the newly-installed interim board led by veteran cricket administrator Dave Ellman-Brown.
Only three workers turned up yesterday.
According to the Sports Commission, the purpose of the meeting was to reassure staff that it is business as usual and to discuss with them the impending forensic audit.
Sports Commission board chairman Gerald Mlotshwa yesterday attributed the low turn-out to “sabotage” by the suspended board, but was optimistic business will return to normalcy at ZC today.
“Staff are still not turning up for work in the expected numbers at ZC Headquarters despite the SRC, through the public media, encouraging all to return for work as usual.
“Another planned staff address for 0900 hours today (yesterday) only saw three members of staff present.
“It is clear that key staff are being intimidated about returning to work under the interim committee. I have a recorded conversation stating that guards at ZC premises were instructed by the ZC security manager to go home as there was ‘no work’, on Monday,” said Mlotshwa.
The Sports Commission suspended the entire Zimbabwe Cricket board and its managing director Givemore Makoni last Friday for defying a directive to suspend a planned elective AGM, among a host of other allegations.
The country’s supreme sports body has also directed a new audit following the damaging allegations of financial impropriety.
The Sports Commission suspects that approximately US$2,8 million could have been misappropriated. A formal dossier on the ZC situation will be presented before the ICC Board meeting scheduled for next month.
However, the suspended ZC directors have since filed an appeal against the Sports Commission’s decision. They have also filed an urgent application in the High Court seeking temporary suspension of the Sports Commission’s decision pending the outcome of the Administration Court hearing.
It remains to be seen whether the High Court will set the matter down for hearing on an urgent basis. In the meantime, the interim committee, which is expected to run the affairs of the association until new elections are held next year, has already been deployed on the ground.
“Indeed, the suspended members of Zimbabwe Cricket, including the acting managing director Givemore Makoni, filed an appeal with the Administrative Court on the 24th of June 2019.
“They are the applicants in this matter and the respondents are the Sports and Recreation Commission, Zimbabwe Cricket and the interim members.
“We, at SRC, fully expected their appeal. The affected directors are fully entitled to approach the courts in the event that they are aggrieved by a decision of the board.
“If you look at paragraph 12 of the SRC’s decision to suspend the ZC directors, you will note that reference was made to Section 32 of the SRC Act which provides for appeals to the Administrative Court. I don’t want to comment on the minutes or otherwise of the appeal as the matter is now before the court.
“What I will state, however, is that the noting of an appeal in this particular instance does not suspend SRC’s resolution. It remains lawful and of full force and effect until it is set aside by a competent court.
“I am glad that they are going to court, this is a correct and civilised way of dealing with grievances.
“Let’s let the court do its work and pronounce its verdict regarding the grievances of the suspended directors.
“In the meantime, the interim committee has already started its work with special focus on the financial situation of Zimbabwe Cricket.
“We are in constant communication with the International Cricket Council as well,” said Mlotshwa.
Source : The Herald