By Sports Reporter
SPORTS Minister Kirsty Coventry has with immediate effect dissolved the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) board in a move meant to breathe new life to the country’s supreme sport regulatory body.
The seven-member board which was set up by former Sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane in December 2016 was led by Edward Siwela who had chaired the supreme sports body since 2014 when the late Joseph James resigned.
Siwela was deputized by marketing executive Lilian Mbayiwa while other members of the board included ex-Zimbabwe Rugby Union president John Falkenberg, former National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe president Joseph Mungwari.
Construction mogul James Goddard, veteran sports administrator Titus Zvomuya and veteran banker Nicholas Vingirai completed the seven-member list of commissioners, whose term was expected to run until next year.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Youth, Arts and Recreation Dr Thokozile Chitepo was not answering her call when contacted for an official comment by NewZimbabwe.com yesterday.
However, one of the affected board members, Falkenberg, the former ZRU president revealed that they had received letters confirming the disbanding of the board on Wednesday evening.
“Yes, it is true, we got confirmation last night,” Falkenberg said.
The decision to dissolve the board comes after the SRC’s acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere was arrested last month before appearing in court facing allegations of abuse of office.
Muchechetere had earlier been summoned by the Zimbabwe Anti–Corruption Commission (ZAAC) amid allegations of financial irregularities that has left the commission in the red.
This follows an audit report which concluded that the regulatory body is being weighed down by rising debts that have reached nearly $1,5 million.
Muchechetere has been acting director-general for over two years and is one of the applicants whose name is being considered by the board for the substantive director-general’s post that fell vacant following Charles Nhemachena’s departure in April 2016.
The auditors noted that the Commission had accumulated losses of $1,387, 415 with their total liabilities exceeding current assets by $1, 026 317.
Muchechetere is also accused of showing favour to the Cuthbert Dube-led ZIFA board by allowing them to continue holding office despite a board resolution mandating him to dissolve the board in 2015.
It has also emerged that the then Kazembe Kazembe-led Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, were also unhappy with the manner in which the Sports Commission is being managed and raised their concerns with ZACC.