ZCU board holds on to power August 2, 2004

Hard-liners retain control of Zimbabwe board

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka: a relieved man © Getty Images

Although the annual general meeting of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union doesn't take place until this Friday (August 6), Wisden Cricinfo has learned that the entire board will be returned unopposed.

It was expected that the meeting could prove troublesome for Peter Chingoka, the chairman, and his board after a year in which Zimbabwean cricket has touched new lows. But 11 of the 12 board members have been re-elected by the provincial associations and the Ozais Bvute-led integration committee. Only Don Arnott will not be standing, as he is stepping down for personal reasons.

The news will be a blow to the rebel cricketers, as the continuing presence of hard-liners Bvute and Max Ebrahim on the new board makes any compromise highly unlikely. The antipathy of both towards the rebels is well documented, and they are likely to veto any move towards concessions being offered to resolve the dispute.

One of the delegates to the provincial-associations meeting, where the provinces made their nominations, which took place nine days ago, said the whole process was stage-managed by the board.

"How can a non-performing board still want to be retained," said one provincial chairman, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals. "These guys are there for personal gains, and that's why they still want to cling on to their posts." He added that the recent changes to the ZCU constitution meant that the current board could not now be removed from power. "They're there until the money runs out," he added. "And the way they are going it'll run out next year."

Tavengwa Mukuhlani, the Mashonaland Cricket Association chairman, and his Matabeleland counterpart Ahmet Esat automatically become board members. Ebrahim and Allan Welsh were the other two names put forward by the provincial associations. That may explain why Ebrahim was so desperate to join the provincial set-up and had to go out of his way to become chairman of a small province called Masvingo.