The Herald (Zimbabwe)


- Sports Reporter

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.

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