Coltart removes Army General from Sports Body

Harare, – The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) chairman Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, who ruled the sports governing body with an iron fist, has been removed from the commission.

The Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart said Bulawayo lawyer Joseph James would chair the supreme sport regulatory body for the next three years.

Mashingaidze ruled the SRC with an iron fist and was responsible for changing the Zimbabwe Cricket constitution, which abolished country districts constituents such as Mashonaland Country Districts saying it was "colonial".The war veteran, who is still serving in the Zimbabwe National Army, was on the SRC for two terms.

Edward Siwela, an experienced athletics administrator, has been retained from the previous board whose term of office expired in September 2008.

Obed Dube, the president of the Zimbabwe Golf Association, is the other new board member. A mining industry executive, Dube is also a former president of Mhangura and Shabanie Mine Football Clubs. He has also worked as a general manager and managing director at Mhangura and African Associated Mines.

Dave Ellman-Brown, one of the leading cricket administrators in the country, has also been included in the board.

An advocate for women in sport, Eugenia Chidhakwa and physical education lecturer is also among the four women appointed to the board.

Women make up 50 percent of the appointed board members with the other three being Zimbabwe Olympic Committee executive board member Anna Mguni, judo coach Debbie Jeans and Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union president Jessie Nyakatawa.

Mguni is a former physical education teacher and sports news presenter on television who has interests in rugby and basketball. Jeans represented Zimbabwe at several international competitions, including the 5th World University Championship in Strasbourg, France, in 1985 and the All-Africa Games. She is a renowned referee and fitness trainer. Nyakatawa is the current president of the Zimbabwe Ladies Golf.

In appointing the new board, Coltart said he had consulted widely before settling on the eight commissioners. “I am pleased to announce my appointment of a new Sports and Recreation Commission board in terms of Section 5 of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act in consultation with the President, His Excellency RG Mugabe.”

“The board had been arrived at after widespread consultations with the other principals to the Global Political Agreement, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Morgan R Tsvangirai and the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara, the director general of the Sport and Recreation Commission, sports associations and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.

In formulating the composition of the board, I have ensured a reasonable gender balance, representation of the disabled, regional representation and representation of major sporting disciplines,” he said.