SRC CRACKDOWN ON ERRANT ASSOCIATIONS

Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa

THE Sports and Recreation Commission have insisted that they would want associations to be up to speed with the regulatory body’s compliance and governance bench marks. 

A number of sports associations have been fingered for failing to comply with the country’s regulations and for struggling to meet the corporate governance expectations. 

As the Sports Commission held their 2022 annual meeting in Harare yesterday, it was clear that they are not taking any prisoners on matters related to compliance and governance. 

Resultantly the non-compliant associations out of the 55 that are registered with the Commission were not invited to the annual indaba at which the regulator reviewed their 2022 activities which include how they were involved in supporting competitions, presentation of the chairman’s report as well as the director-general’s report on operations. 

To show the way to the associations the Sports Commission also tabled their audited financial statements. 

Many associations have been found wanting when it comes to accountability especially in regularly presenting their audited financial accounts. 

Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa said addressing issues of governance is key to attracting investment in sport.

“The other thing that came out is governance issues. The National Sports Associations that were present here were those NSAs that were fully compliant or partially compliant. 

“Partial in the sense that they (have) given specific undertakings as to how they would remedy any governance deficiencies that we had identified. 

“Non-compliant associations were not invited to this event and we keep emphasising on that, on compliance,’’ Mlotshwa said.

The SRC boss believes compliance is the first major step to any association operating efficiently. 

“Compliance because compliance equals governance, governance then equals investment in sport. 

“I gave the example earlier on that just like a bank, sponsors will not invest in badly run NSAs, just like a bank will not lend money, any investor, will not put money into a business that is not well run. 

“It simply won’t happen,” Mlotshwa said.

The Sports Commission last month took a bold step to enforce compliance and that will see national associations that fail to comply to the statutory and administrative requirements not getting support from the sports regulatory body including approvals for competitions, tours, or funding requests.

Some of the issues that have been raised over the years concerning compliance include the failure by some national associations to uphold their constitutions, failure to hold annual meetings, and to produce audited financial statements among other issues. 

Yesterday’s meeting also touched on the need to invest in sports facilities. 

This comes at a time when the Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture Ministry is holding its strategic planning workshop.

And Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture Minister Kirsty Coventry underscored the need for Zimbabwe to invest in sport infrastructure. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the strategic planning workshop, Coventry said sporting infrastructure is one of the major areas they are looking at and how they can go about the engagements that will contribute to that. 

Mlotshwa added that infrastructure is also an area they would focus on as national associations expressed their concerns over the obtaining situation in the country.

“A major theme that has come out from this AGM is, and this is from the NSAs themselves, it’s this drive that we have had our Minister talking about investing in sport infrastructure. 

“It’s something that we want to focus on in the months and weeks and years going ahead. 

“Most important in that respect is moving away from this perception that it must be government that must fund sports infrastructure. 

“But rather having your Public-Private Partnerships, vetting the credible ones and allowing them to go on and fix the infrastructure in this country, that is really depleted,” said Mlotshwa. 

Among those at the annual indaba were commissioners — Karen Mutasa, Titus Zvomuya and Allen Chiura, director general Eltah Nengomasha, officials from the Ministry of Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture as well as Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chief executive Marlene Gadzirayi. Mutasa said they would want to engage and work with national associations on progressive ideas. 

“We really don’t want to be seen just as policemen. We want to be seen as partners, with the NSAs, with the Ministry. 

“We would love to see more generative ideas coming forward where we are there to support and not just be seen (as) people who are checking whether you are compliant or not compliant,” said Mutasa. 

Other issues that were also raised include sports tourism and commercialisation of sport to reduce reliance on government.

Herald

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