Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
SPORT and Recreation Commission directors — Joseph Muchechetere, Patience Kabanda and Daniel Kuwengwa — continued to receive benefits, including holiday allowances, despite it being clear the regulatory body was struggling for sustainability and technically insolvent.
The trio of acting director-general Muchechetere, Kabanda the Director Corporate Services (Finance, Administration and Human Resources) and Kuwengwa who is Business Development and Marketing director, head the Sports Commission’s secretariat.
They report to a board chaired by Edward Siwela and Commissioners include vice-chairperson Lilian Mbaiwa, Titus Zvomuya, John Falkenberg, Nicholas Vingirai, Joseph Mungwari and Clement Mukwasi.
But, according to an audit report of the Sports Commission done by a Harare firm Nolands, the trio of Muchechetere, Kabanda and Kuwengwa were paid “$89 000 in emoluments and $38 000 in directors’ benefits”.
Muchechetere, who was elevated to acting director-general following the departure of Charles Nhemachena in April 2016, also serves as Director Sport and Recreation Development.
It is, however, the audit report, which raises a stink in the manner in which the Sports Commission has been managed in the last two years with the audit firm also warning on the sustainability of the sports body as a going concern.
The audit also exposed the same Sports Commission that has been quick to invoke statutory regulations on associations, flouting other statutes such as payments to ZIMRA and NSSA, which they have not been remitting.
Questions will also be raised about the authority which the Commissioners wield in superintending the Sports Commission’s management despite the board having been cited for contributing to the audit.
“The Commissioners are required by the Sports and Recreation Commission Act (Chapter 25:15) to maintain adequate accounting records and are responsible for the content and integrity of the financial statements and related financial information included in this report.
“It is their responsibility to ensure that financial statements fairly present the state of affairs of the Commission at the end of the fiscal year and the results of its operations and cash flows for the period then ended in conformity with international Financial Reporting Standards.
“The external auditors are engaged to express an independent opinion on the financial statements,” read part of the auditor’s statement.
The audit also revealed that the Sports Commission are technically insolvent with liabilities far exceeding the body’s current assets.
“We draw you to the fact that as at December 31, 2017, the Commission had accumulated losses of $1 387 415 and total current liabilities exceed total current assets by $1 026 317.
“The financial statements have been prepared on the basis of accounting policies applicable to going concern.
“This basis presumes that funds will be available to finance future obligations and that the realisation of assets and the settlement of liabilities, contingent obligations and commitments, will occur in the ordinary course for business.
“The ability of the institution to continue as a going concern is dependent on a number of factors, the most important of these is that the Board must continue to procure funding for the on-going operations of the Commission,” the auditors said.
That the Sports Commission’s total assets of $255 000 are much less than total liabilities of $1,1 million make the institution technically insolvent to the tune of $896 000.
Siwela and Muchechetere have presided over successive losses by the Sports Commission in the last two years that the former has been acting director-general and the latter remained chairman of the board.
The Sports Commission, who are backed by Government grants have, according to the audit, made successive losses of $236 000 last year and $63 000 for 2016.
Apart from the Government grants, the Sports Commission’s next major cash cow is football from where they raked in $118 000 in 2017 from the levies.
Ironically, in the audit report, the Sports Commission revealed they made a paltry donation of $3 000 to the Mighty Warriors cause, gave the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe $59 000 and the Netball Association $25 000.
Of the Sports Commission’s total income of $1,5 million, $689 000 and $136 000 went to employee costs and directors’ compensation respectively.
This left above $800 000 going towards enumeration at a ratio of more than 50 percent, when “normal acceptable practice remuneration must not be above 8 percent of revenue.”
Given the state of affairs obtaining at the regulatory body, the Sports Commission has literally existed to pay salaries and commissioners/ directors as most of its revenue go to non-sport development.
Unlike other parastatals, the Sports Commission has virtually been bleeding Government coffers through the grant of $1,3 million.
The audit noted that Sports Commission fundraising initiatives only raised $54 000 from investments.
“The Commission mainly relied on Government grants and did not fully exploit its other sources of income.
“These conditions, along with other matters set out in the financial statements, indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Commission’s ability to continue as a going concern,” said the auditors.