Zim Rugby Union leadership demands accountability
THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) top brass says resignations of the senior national team’s technical staff was as a result of them not wanting to account for their failures.
ZRU president Nyararai Sibanda and one of his two vice-presidents Tapiwa Mangezi told journalists in Bulawayo on Sunday that the coaching staff did not want to take responsibility for the poor results posted by the various national teams.
Cyprian Mandenge stepped down as the Sables’ head coach last month together with team manager Sebastian Garikai. They were followed last week by ZRU director of rugby Brighton Chivandire.
Mandenge, who was appointed at the beginning of last year, only won two out of nine matches as coach.
Before throwing in the towel, the World Rugby Level Three coaching certificate holder had gone for seven consecutive matches without a win. The pathetic performances saw the country’s flagship national team being demoted from the elite Africa Cup 1A to the less appealing 1B for 2017.
Sibanda disclosed that Chivandire had cited pressure as his reason for leaving the position he had occupied since October 2014. The ZRU boss made it clear that the poor performances of the national teams meant things had to change.
“We find ourselves with an exodus; obviously that is going to happen because this exodus is created by the discomfort of accountability. We have to lose or to part with highly experienced and highly qualified personnel. You must note that the decision is not informed by anything, but results,” said Sibanda.
“We can’t continue being in that position because we have highly qualified people, highly trained people, but the deliverables are not happening. The problem has to be looked at collectively (and) we got to try new things,’’ he said.
Mangezi, who is also in charge of national teams, said when they came into office on May 5 this year, they took over a union that had a terrible culture whereby people were earning salaries, but not answerable for failure.
The former Sables prop is convinced that even if the Sables were relegated, the country is still hopeful of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“We are at rock bottom; we can’t go backwards. This is where we are. The union inherited a lot of bad habits, systems that had no accountability. People had posts, people had paying jobs, but they were not accountable. What we have said in our first four months is that for every sector in rugby we want accountability and the proof is in the pudding. We were demoted because no one is accountable for anything,” said Mangezi.
“Everyone sits and says we are in rugby. We wake up, we go to work, but the results speak for themselves. What we have is a situation where everyone comes up with an excuse. It’s either the economy, my friend this or some
o t he r person, it’s never that person. What we have said to each and every person is that you are accountable. That’s why people are resigning or being reshuffled. It’s all about accountability,” he said. As the man charged with leading the process to find the new Sables coach, Mangezi promised that whoever is brought in would be made to account for results, as their mandate is to take the country to the 2019 World Cup. So far, Mangezi disclosed that seven applications had been received, with four being individuals outside the country. The four applications are from coaches in Western Province, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, as well as New Zealand. The ZRU also said they had accepted Chivandire’s resignation. ZRU said Chivandire made an enormous contribution to the game over the years, particularly in the last 22 months as director of rugby and wished him well in his new endeavours. — @ Mdawini_29
ZRU president Nyararai Sibanda