News 31st December 2018

Politicians call for Commission of Inquiry into Zimbabwe Cricket

Zimbabwean politicians have called for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged mismanagement of Zimbabwe cricket by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board (ZCB). It is alleged that:

• although the ZCB was debt free in 2004, mismanagement has resulted the ZCB amassing debts of over US$13 million;
• the ZCB misappropriated funds supplied by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reduce its Met Bank overdraft, placing them in another Met Bank account for the benefit of the ZCB Board;
• ZCB Board members decided against moving the ZCB debt offshore, as Met Bank offered a high interest rate on loans and a lower rate on investment – therefore retaining the debt was of benefit to the ZCB Board members who were also Directors of Met Bank, as it allowed them to ‘farm interest’;
• members of the ZCB Board were also Directors of Met Bank, which is why the ZCB hesitated in using ICC money to retire the Met Bank overdraft, costing the ZCB $600,000;
• ZCB received funding from the ICC for improvements in facilities, which did not materialise;
• income from ICC disbursements and loans ‘mysteriously’ did not meet ZCB expenses, which should have dropped due to lack of international cricket.

The debate was tabled by Lilian Timveos, the MDC Alliance Senator for the Midlands, and was seconded by party colleagues Gideon Shoko and Tichinani Mavetera. It also calls for a full disclosure of ZCB’s debt, including who borrowed what amounts, how the money was used, how much is owned to players, as well as how ICC funds were used.

In June this year, the ICC charged Enock Ikope, a ZCB Director, with refusing to cooperate with an investigation by its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). In July, the ZCB confirmed that it had received ICC funding designed to resolve an ongoing dispute over the payment of players.

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