By Fungai Muderere
The Zimbabwe Cheetahs, the national Sevens’ side have been allocated US$25 000 towards the Cheetahs’ upcoming campaigns for the rest of the year.
They have been invited to the Roma 7s, Windoek Draught 7s in Lusaka (6-7 September) and the Maseru Sevens in Lesotho (21-22 September), Safaricom 7s in Nairobi (3-4 October) leading up to the Africa Cup Olympic Qualifiers in Johannesburg.
Following a Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) executive and other stakeholders meeting held in Kwekwe last Sunday, the association’s media and communications consultant Jeffrey Murimbechi, said against a background of the fact that engaging tournaments comes with heavy financial costs, a decision would be made on the invitational competitions that the team will participate in.
“The union, the coaches and a special committee will sit down and make a decision on the tournaments that the team will fulfil. Each event requires adequate preparations which come at a financial cost and we have US$25 000 which will not be adequate for us to take part in all the tournaments,” said Murimbechi.
He added that ZRU executive in line with board resolutions from the meeting held in Kwekwe, was urged to implement financial and disciplinary measures as agreed.
“A recent review of proceedings was made and the board approved the manner in which the labour conflict between ZRU and Mr Peter de Villiers was handled by the Disciplinary Committee. In light of recent events the board has sought guidance on how to handle the matter regarding national team players Denford Mutamangira and Tatenda Karuru. Both players broke protocol by making unsanctioned statements in the media on behalf of their team mates without using the formal channel which is the players’ representative and committee,” said Murimbechi.
De Villiers, a former Springbok coach was recently fired by ZRU for unauthorised absence from work and he has indicated he will appeal against his dismissal in a labour court.
Internal ZRU documents spell out how De Villiers failed to return to work in Zimbabwe after a vacation last year. He was suspended and later fired following a disciplinary hearing.
De Villiers said the ZRU had “expelled” him for missing work while he was at his cancer-stricken daughter’s side, also claiming that his bosses had accused him of faking the fact that his daughter was ill.
He recently won the hearts of many when an image of him sleeping next to his daughter Odille Monk during her chemotherapy sessions was posted on social media.
De Villiers was hired by Zimbabwe on a two-year contract in February 2018 — for a reported R115 000 per month salary — with the aim of getting the country back to the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1991.
Not only did Zimbabwe fail to make the 2019 World Cup, they were nearly relegated from Africa’s top-tier competition.
Meanwhile, after taking a two-month break to pave way for Zimbabwe’s participation in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) Super Six League resumes on Saturday with three fixtures lined up for Harare and Mutare.
Log leaders, Old Georgians, who are yet to taste defeat in four starts, welcome basement side Old Miltonians at Old Georgians Sports Club.
Georgians sit at the apex of the log standings with 19 points. Matabeleland Warriors are yet to collect a single point from the games. They have an outstanding match against Old Hararians in Harare which was never played during the break.
In a Harare derby tie, second-placed Harare Sports Club (HSC) will seek to keep a close check on pacesetters Old Georgians when they entertain Old Hararians (OH).
HSC are on 15 points, four ahead of Old Hararians.
In their last fixture before the league took a breather, HSC, who were missing most of their key players after they travelled with the Zimbabwe Rugby Academy for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge in South Africa, recorded a hard fought victory over Matabeleland scoring one try and two penalty goals to break the hearts of the sizeable crowd that was backing Warriors.
Seeking their second win of the campaign Bulawayo’s Matabeleland Warriors will face Mutare Sports Club in an away fixture. B-Metro