HARARE – Parliamentarins yesterday tore into the Sports Recreational Commission (SRC), accusing the country’s supreme sports regulatory body of dragging the sector into a mess.
The legislatures overwhelmingly concurred that the SRC – which is appointed by the Minster of Sports to oversee the administration of sports in the country – has failed to take Zimbabwean sports to the next level.
They said the SRC lacked “vision and has misplaced priorities.”
Appearing before the Sports, Arts and Culture portfolio committee chaired by Hurungwe West MP Themba Mliswa, the SRC came under serious scrutiny from the lawmakers.
“What are you guys doing in your offices?” bellowed Mliswa, himself a distinguished sportsman and qualified rugby coach.
“What I’m getting here is that you do not audit these associations. What are the finances of rugby like? How much is going into Zifa? How much from Zifa is going into development?
“These are the things you should have at your fingertips.”
Buhera West MP Oliver Mandipaka added that the national associations who fall under SRC lacked corporate governance.
“It makes me feel really sad. Some of the associations are being funded by donors and theses donations are paying the salaries so in the end these donors control your activities.”
SRC director general Charles Nhemachena was also grilled on why he had awarded himself a pay raise while lower level staffers have not had their salaries reviewed in years, to which Nemachena responded: “It was increased in February to a very modest figure I must say.”
In another development, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) attracted the wrath of the committee after failing to turn up for the session.
The SRC was also questioned on its recommendation to the Ministry of Sports to bankroll the Zone VI Youth Games to the tune of $46 million dollars, the biggest budget in the history of sports in Zimbabwe.
Government has come under fire for tabling such a hug budget for less significant event like the Youth Games at a time the country has more immediate priorities in the major disciplines.
Former Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman and Shurugwi MP, Tapiwa Matangaidze, condemned Zifa for setting a nomination fee of $10 000 for aspiring Zifa presidency candidates.
However, SRC legal advisor Alisha Tsimba, said the fee had not been approved.
“It has to apply to the laws of Zimbabwe and as we speak right now we are yet to endorse it,” she said.
“As a legal person I must admit we association constitutions which are archaic and we have written to these associations to revisit their constitutions.”