Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Zimbabwe government’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has mandated its Interim Committee appointed to replace the Directors of Zimbabwe Cricket Board (ZCB) will conduct an investigation into the body. A Deed of Settlement was signed between the government and the ZCB last week, after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended the ZCB due to government interference, stating that suspension would only be revoked if the ZCB Directors were reinstated.
Please herewith the current status regarding the dispute between the SRC and Zimbabwe Cricket. Kindly diregard the statement which has been circulating regarding the same matter as we had not issued it.
However, as part of that Settlement Agreement, the SRC states that the ZCB Directors have agreed to comply with an SRC investigation. And that investigation will be conduced by the SRC Interim Committee that replaced the ZCB Directors. ‘Zimbabwe Cricket, in terms of the Deed of Settlement forming part of the said Consent Order, and in particular paragraph 14 thereof, has agreed to “cooperate and exercise the utmost good faith” with the purposes and intentions of this Committee’, read a statement (below).
Appointment of SRC Special Committee to INQUIRE into affairs of cricket in Zimbabwe
In December last year, politicians called for an investigation into allegations of mismanagement at the ZCB. It was 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 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.
In June last year, the ICC charged Enock Ikope, a ZCB Director, with refusing to cooperate with an investigation by its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). A month later, the ZCB confirmed that it had received ICC funding designed to resolve an ongoing dispute over the payment of players.
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