2014 Malaysia/Singapore tour haunts HAZ
THE controversial 2014 Malaysia/Singapore tour by the Zimbabwe Under-19 boys’ team continues to haunt the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (Haz) and there are now calls for the recently elected executive to bring to book officials behind that tour.
Allegations of abuse of funds have since emerged with a travel agent allegedly still owed $19 000 by the association under unclear circumstances.
Presenting his key note address as outgoing president of Haz at the association’s elective annual general meeting at Chisipite Senior School in Harare on Saturday, Humphrey Chigwedere said while the state of hockey in the country was encouraging, it was the 2014 dilemma that painted a dark side of the game.
“It has not been well in the School Boys Association ever since the controversial Malaysian/Singapore tour of 2014 which was poorly organised, mal-administered and unprofessionally accounted for.
“This has cost some innocent boys an opportunity to take part in international matches and winning their deserved national colours. It is hoped that the incoming committee will try and assist the schools to resolve this issue and bring to book those who may have misappropriated public funds. I say so because to date a travel agent is still owed close to $19 000 from that tour.
“Our efforts have yielded no result because the leaders of the tour do not co-operate with any inquiry,” said Chigwedere.
He said besides the Malaysian/Singapore tour debacle, the state of hockey in the country was generally pleasing as player registration grew by 42 percent this year.
“However, the national league did not function properly in 2016. Our interprovincial tournaments were poorly attended but the schools successfully fulfilled their fixtures and I am aware that some hockey festivals at schools’ level were held throughout the country in 2016 once again,” Chigwedere said.
Meanwhile, Grant Campbell was elected unopposed as the new Haz president, while the post of vicepresident is still vacant.
Sarah Bennet and Gavin Stephens were retained as honorary secretary and treasurer respectively.
The new executive committee members are Virginia Ross, Maxwell Makuvise, Prince Mwale and Kalpesh Parshotam.
The committee will be in charge for the next two years in line with the Haz constitution.