A number of sports associations in Zimbabwe have over the years suffered immensely from maladministration and corruption to a point that the performance of national teams is grossly compromised.
The chaos that has engulfed the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) is just a tip of the iceberg.
On Friday Zimbabweans woke up to the embarrassing news that the senior national football team — the Warriors — had gone on strike in Egypt where they were due
to play the host nation in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.
The players were unhappy that Zifa had not kept its word to pay them their allowances despite the association receiving funds from the Confederation of African
Football (Caf) to do exactly that.
Instead of paying players, Zifa flew a delegation of over 100 people on an all-expenses-paid trip to Cairo for the tournament.
The unrest in the national team camp did not only cause Zimbabwe embarrassment, but also caused discomfort to Caf, the organisers of the tournament.
That the Zifa crisis exploded thousands of kilometres away from home should have served as a wake-up call to the authorities to put a stop to the mediocrity
that has characterised local football for far too long.
This is why we cautiously welcome the action taken by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to suspend the entire ZC board after the Tavengwa Mukuhlani
outfit ignored the government agency’s directive to postpone its recent elective annual general meeting.
The SRC cited alleged “complaints about the nomination process and the violation of the ZC’s constitution as well as various other controversies”.
Zimbabwe cricket has been on the decline for the past two decades and the absence of the Chevrons at the ongoing World Cup in England is testimony of that
ZC has over the years faced accusations of corruption and nepotism with the government doing very little to bring normalcy into the running of one of the most
popular sports codes in the country.
Last week also saw problems in the ZRU spilling into the public domain with an ugly spat between some players and the union.
Again the ZRU administration has been accused of mismanagement and performances of rugby national teams points to a game that is in serious decline.
It is, therefore, time for the Gerald Mlotshwa-led SRC to show some teeth by dealing with the rot in most of the associations without fear or favour.
However, this has to be done in a transparent manner to avoid sanctions against the country as international bodies, which the affected associations are
affiliated to, frown upon government interference.