HARARE – Nyararai Sibanda is the new Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) president after he was elected ahead of Aaron Jani and Carlton Majuru during a highly-charged Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Prince Edward School yesterday.
Sibanda becomes the first ZRU leader from Bulawayo taking over from John Falkenberg, who decided not to seek a second term in office.
The former Highlanders Rugby Club chairman, who was Falkenberg’s vice, polled 10 votes while Jani only managed three.
Mashonaland East Province chairman Majuru, had been nominated by his constituency for the vice-president’s post but his name was somehow incorrectly entered for the top post.
This did not go down well with some members in attendance and in the end he did not get a single vote.
The two vice presidents’ posts went to Noddy Kanyangarara (North) and Tapiwa Mangezi (South).
Kanyangarara, who launched his campaign at the eleventh hour, was able to starve off the challenge of Joe Kawonza after receiving 10 votes.
Kawonza had indicated that he was pulling out of the race but his name still found its way onto the ballot and got two votes while one ballot was spoiled.
There was further confusion in the vote for the South vice-president as Sibanda’s name was also on the ballot paper.
In the end, Mangezi polled seven votes while Theodore Weale got only three votes. Sibanda received only one vote before going on to win the main ballot.
Had Sibanda also won the South vice-president’s vote it was going to be a major constitution crisis when it also came to the vote for the president.
Emotions were high at the start of the meeting after it emerged that Falkenberg’s outgoing executive committee had already adopted the new ZRU constitution which had been ratified by the Sports and recreation Commission.
Most members felt they would get a chance to make some amendments to the constitution at yesterday’s meeting but it did not take place since the document had already been adopted.
Falkenberg defended the move saying that all recommendations and amendments were done through the provincial structures.
At the end of the meeting, Sibanda used his victory speech to try and heal the wounds created by the chaos in order for the sport to move forward.
“The differences that we had are strongly placed away. Let’s redirect those for the benefit of rugby and ensure that all of us rally each other and execute what has been asked for us to do while in office,” he said.
“What you are going to see is not going to be all about me but it will all be about the board directing issues.”