Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE Sports Commission yesterday made a huge step in solving the problems that have been rocking netball when it handed down a decision that the Zimbabwe Netball Association conduct their elections within the next three months.
The country’s supreme sport body also resolved that a splinter league, Rainbow Amateur Netball League (RANL), whose formation left the local netball fraternity divided, should be duly registered by ZINA and allowed to run.
ZINA have been resisting the move to amend their constitution and accomodate other leagues.
But it has since emerged that ZINA’s constitution, which was lodged with the Sports Commission in 2007, has a section which allowed other leagues to operate.
RANL were seeking to affiliate to ZINA so that they run their own league separately from the Super League which is being run by the national association.
But the two parties failed to reach an agreement on the way forward as ZINA questioned the motive behind the formation of the new structure since they already had the Super League running.
But following complaints raised by the netball stakeholders, who submitted a petition to the Sports Commission a month ago expressing concern over how ZINA were running the game in the country, the commission yesterday gave their verdict on key matters which has been threatening to hamper netball development in this country.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission has directed that ZINA, as the sole authority responsible for netball in Zimbabwe, register the Rainbow Amateur Netball League, subject to ZINA’s constitution lodged and registered with the Sports and Recreation Commission in 2007.
“Additionally, the Sports and Recreation Commission has directed that ZINA convene an extraordinary general meeting to elect an executive. The extraordinary general meeting should be concluded no later than January 31, 2020,” read the statement which was released by the Sports Commission yesterday.
Currently, the RANL league has been running while the Super League was not functional after the majority of the clubs once affiliated to the Super League defected to RANL which is sponsored by Glow Petroleum.
The move by the Sports Commission is expected to bring to an end the squabbling and make sure that the sport which reached dizzy heights when the senior national team, the Gems, qualified and performed well at the the Vitality World Cup this year, will ride on that success and maintain the momentum through a vibrant league.
Yesterday, ZINA president Leticia Chipandu said they were surprised by the move.
“We are surprised by the instruction from the SRC. They are better positioned to comment and justify why they have taken that action. But all we know is that according to our 2013 constitution we are not due for elections,” said Chipandu.
RANL secretary Moses Gukurume welcomed the development.
“Although we haven’t sat down as a league but I think it’s a noble development, something which is exciting and common sense has prevailed. We are happy that we will be able to operate professionally.
“As for the elections, they were long overdue and new brooms will help in the development of netball in this country,” Gukurume said.
ZINA has been under fire from all corners and stand accused of maladministration and incompetence after failing to secure sponsorship to run a national league, the Netball Super League.
A group calling itself “concerned netball administrators” from local clubs petitioned the Sports Commission over “gross irregularities” in netball governance, violation of ZINA’s constitution as well as the failure of requirements of the SRC Act throwing the game into further abyss.
Among the allegations were that ZINA had clashed with players during the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, in July over allowances.
Another allegation emanating from an audit report compiled by Robert Kambarami alleged ZINA officials paid themselves hefty allowances at the expense of the players almost six times more than the players.
The governance issues, it is alleged came to light when ZINA were allegedly forced to engage an independent auditor in line with the Sports Commission’s demands for good corporate governance practices by national sport associations.
Today: Falcon v Glow (Manyame grounds, 11am), Lusumbami vs PPU (Lwendulu Hwange, 10am), Lusumbami v Mambas (Lwendulu Ground, 2pm). Glow v Flow Angels (Glen View 1 New Hall 2pm), Correctional v Zimbabwe Defence Forces (Chikurubi, 2pm).
Tomorrow: Riozim v Beta (Rio Club 12pm), ZDF v Tenax (Harare Municipal Police Courts, 11am).