A new era beckons for Zimbabwe rugby Schools rugby is the foundation for the sport.

Zimpapers Sports Hub

EXCITEMENT has gripped the rugby fraternity ahead of elections today to choose the Zimbabwe Rugby Union president.

Members of the rugby family will converge at the Sports and Recreation Commission offices at the National Sports Stadium, for the annual meeting that will precede the elections.

Unlike previous ZRU elections, today’s poll has attracted more than two candidates for the president, adding to the excitement that has characterised the build up to the poll.

The three top offices, the president and two vice presidents, are set to go to the polls at the AGM.

Incumbent president Aaron Jani, seeking another term, faces Gerald Sibanda, his current deputy Losson Mtongwiza and Gilbert Nyamutsamba.

The trio of Joseph Kawonza, Abigail Mnikwa and Tapfuma Parirenyatwa are all up for the vice president North seat, while Martin Shone, Shasha Gomez, Thembelani Ncube and Nyamutsamba, again, are vying for the vice president South seat.

ZRU chief executive Sifiso Made is happy with the preparations for the annual indaba and remains optimistic about the future.

The elections are also coming at a time when the ZRU ship has steadied after previous years of turbulence.

The Union are also now refreshingly compliant with the Sports Commission requirements.

“The exciting thing that is happening is that we now have more than one candidate vying for the presidential post, whereas previously it’s always been the one candidate and we would know in advance who is taking over,” said Made.

“Now, we actually have four candidates vying for that office and it is all very exciting.

“If you look at the period under review, the most important takeaway is that, over the last four or five years, we have managed to get our corporate governance back on track.

“We have held our AGMs, our board meetings and we have also had re-entry into World Rugby programmes, which was a huge success.

“Our national teams have done exceptionally well, in particular the Under-20s who are the former Barthes Trophy champions.

“While they lost their title this year, over the last two years they have really put us on the radar.

“Our Sevens went to the World Cup, although there is room for improvement there,” he said.

The successes were not confined to the men’s game alone as there were also developments in the women’s game.

“Our women’s structures seem to be now coming together, and we are hoping for more game time,” said                         Made.

“It was during this tenure that we actually had Test matches for women, and we are actually being ranked.

“The involvement of all our stakeholders was another landmark.

“We have banks that come on-board to support the Union, and it goes to show that they are believers in our structures and our governance.

“The constitution will be a talking point during this elective AGM, and it is something that we will need to look at again in terms of realigning it to the current trends and best practices,” he said.

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