By Eddie Chikamhi
The Sports and Recreation Commission have reported the suspended members of the Zimbabwe Cricket board to the police for obstructing the course of justice in the investigations of an alleged fraud involving US$2.8million.
The entire ZC board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani was put on suspension last week by SRC on allegations of financial misappropriation, among a litany of misdeeds. The association’s Acting Managing Director, Givemore Makoni, was also suspended.
The SRC have since placed an interim committee headed by veteran sports administrator David Ellman-Brown to run the affairs of the association while a forensic audit is instituted.
However, their efforts have been met with a strong resistance from the suspended members and employees, who have reportedly locked up the premises and ordered critical staff to stay away from work.
SRC Acting Director-General Shepherd Mukanhairi said they wrote to Police Commissioner Godwin Matanga’s office this week after their efforts to launch an inquiry into the operations of the association were frustrated.
“As you will be aware the SRC suspended the entire Zimbabwe Cricket Board of Directors on 19 June, 2019. This included the Acting Managing Director of Zimbabwe Cricket, Givemore Makoni.
“The SRC require an urgent investigation into the use of US$2.8 million debited to the account of Zimbabwe Cricket with MetBank Zimbabwe Limited.
“Zimbabwe Cricket does not accept liability for the US$2.8million whereas MetBank states that the liability belongs to Zimbabwe Cricket.
“Quite obviously that debit resulted in a benefit to someone, whether Zimbabwe Cricket itself or a third party. Related to the foregoing, are ongoing deliberate acts of obstruction of the course of justice by certain of Zimbabwe Cricket staff.
“These people are Tavengwa Mukuhlani, Givemore Makoni and Robson Manjoro who are at the forefront of preventing Zimbabwe Cricket staff from reporting for duty.
“The absence of key staff from Zimbabwe Cricket is hampering the access to critical financial related records require for the investigation of the above and for planned forensic investigations with the assistance of the International Cricket Council.
“It is criminal offence to deliberately obstruct the course of an investigation and/or justice. The urgent assistance of your office is required,” wrote Mukanhairi in his correspondence to the ZRP.
Government has maintained a zero-tolerance stance on corruption, even in the sports sector. The SRC are worried that some members of the suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board have been interfering with their efforts to put order at the association’s offices.
The officials are said to be going around intimidating staff to stay away from work. As a result, the newly installed committee has not been able to settle as only three staffers have reported for duty.
Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa attributed the low turn-out to sabotage by the suspended board. They are hoping police intervention will help to bring normalcy. The Chronicle