Paul Munyuki Sports Reporter
THE Sport and Recreation Commission has summoned the Zimbabwe Rugby Union in the wake of a boob in which Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa wrongly defended the Union’s controversial appointment of vice-president Colleen de Jong. There has been a rage over the unconstitutional appointment of the former Young Sables team manager to the post of vice-president in the rugby fraternity.
But last week Langa fallaciously came to the defence of de Jong’s appointment when he told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport that the appointment was above board.
“The deputy chairperson (vice president) of the rugby (sic) was not appointed, but instead she was co-opted. I would like to believe that in their constitution there is that provision,” said Langa.
In giving answers to the Parliamentarians, Langa had conferred with Sports Commission director-general Charles Nhemachena .
Nhemachena, however, denied that he misled the Minister into misrepresenting facts.
“I do not know of any misrepresentation and we (Sports Commission and the Ministry of Sport) do not resolve our issues through the press,” said Nhemachena yesterday.
However, according to the ZRU constitution that was adopted on January 21 2012, de Jong is not supposed to be a board member and neither does she qualify to be vice-president as she was hand-picked by president John Falkenberg as a replacement to Aisha Tsimba.
Tsimba resigned from the ZRU to take up a post on the Sports Commission board.
Nhemachena said they had summoned the ZRU to come clean on the appointment of de Jong ahead of their annual general meeting set for Prince Edward in 11 days.
“Yes, we have called the Zimbabwe Rugby Union executives to clarify on the matter. We have and will continue to consult with them in regards to that matter, but we will have full results after their annual general meeting,” said Nhemachena.
But Nhemachena could not shed much light on what they were meant to discuss with the rugby authorities led by Falkenberg, saying there are a number of issues that still needed to be discussed before issuing out a statement.
“I am not is a position to disclose exactly what we have been discussing, but all I can say at the moment is that we are trying to make sure that whatever the challenges they are facing should be regularised.
“We are in consultation with a number of people and for me to comment much at this stage would compromise, affect or disturb the process before the actual report is out,” said Nhemachena.
The former Black Rhinos and ZIFA administrator believes that the ZRU annual general meeting would be the best forum to resolve the issue as most of the legitimate board members will be present at the indaba.
“We are working with them (ZRU) and think that the best way will be to give a report after their annual general meeting so that they regularise their challenges and map a way forward,” Nhemachena said.
Section 23.2.1 of the ZRU constitution that reads: “Any casual vacancy occurring in the position of Director may be filled by the remaining Directors from among appropriately qualified persons” weighs against the appointment of de Jong.