Mehluli Sibanda in BULAWAYO
Former Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Faisal Hasnain has praised the organisation’s chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani for the role he played in finding a solution to ZC’s debt.
The cricket mother body’s debt are now housed under the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company.
In his report presented at last Friday’s ZC annual meeting, Hasnain, who resigned from his post in April this year, described how he personally saw Mukuhlani’s relentless pursuit to find a solution to the organisation’s debt and achieved an outcome which had no precedent.
“After months of intense negotiations, the major landmark achievement during this period was the formal arrangement that ZC finally managed to reach with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. Under this arrangement, the Central Bank was able to take over all the commercial bank loans of ZC through ZAMCO, its asset management vehicle,’’ Hasnain wrote. The arrangement, Hasnain said, gave ZC an opportunity to consolidate and refinance its expensive commercial loans and transfer these under ZAMCO at a much lower interest rate.
Under the ZAMCO arrangement, the interest rate for the ZC loans is fixed at 6,5 percent with the cricket mother body to repay the principal amount in 2023 in the form of one bullet payment.
ZC loans that went under ZAMCO were for NMB Bank, CBZ, Metbank and Ecobank totaling $14 million. ZC managed to get a 30% discount so have to pay $10 million at the end of 2023.
There are indications that in 2020, ZC should have settled all its creditors, using the current controlled ICC funding. It is envisaged that with the ZAMCO solution in place, ZC should be able debt free in future and will not struggle to pay salaries with the core business of cricket being able to thrive.
ZC’s legacy debt had continued to choke the cricket mother body because of the high interest rates that were being charged for the loans.
ZC have re-introduced the franchise system with post for the four general managers to look after these franchises having already been advertised.
Mukuhlani made it clear they were merely returning to the old system of having cricket being played by the four big provinces in the country, which has been necessitated by ZC’s financial situation. “We are re-introducing franchise system, we have gone back to our four big provinces, they are being called franchises but we are not going back to that expensive format.
‘‘What we want is to have a domestic structure that is strength-for-strength and it’s a two-year project,’’ Mukuhlani said.