Controversial chairman set to be re-elected August 22, 2006

Carry on Chingoka

Peter Chingoka is set to be re-elected as chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket at the end of the month, despite serious allegations made against him over the last year by some of the country's most senior stakeholders.

Under a controversial new constitution, sport minister Aeneas Chigwedere will hand-pick seven of the 12 board members, with the remaining five being nominated by the 10 newly-created provincial associations.

Chigwedere has not hinted on his choices yet, but the Zimbabwe-based Independent said Chingoka was "very much in the picture".

Chingoka, who has headed ZC since 1992, has been at the helm throughout the chaos of the last three years which has seen the game in the country brought to its knees. Despite this, he retains considerable support among the ICC's executive board, where he has established powerful allies and he is also believed to be close to Percy Sonn, the new ICC president. Those connections have been crucial in enabling him and his board to weather a series of internal crises.

It is, however, rumoured that Chingoka's role as head of the Africa Cricket Association could be in jeopardy, with senior figures in the body of the view that his presence is not necessarily helpful to it. Other African administrators are understood to have been approached with a view to replacing him.

Lovemore Banda, ZC's media manager, told the newspaper that Chingoka would be "honoured to accept the call" if he was reappointed. "We are reluctant to pre-judge how the minister will use his prerogative but suffice it to say that should he see it fit to appoint him onto the new ZC board, Mr Chingoka, indeed like any other Zimbabwean called up for national duty, will be honoured to accept the call, and put to the continued benefit of the sport all the experience and contacts he has garnered over the years."

Chingoka, if reappointed, will have far less internal opposition than of late. All those who challenged his position last year have been removed from office, and the new constitution makes it impossible for any stakeholders to oppose the board. Like much of Zimbabwe, it is democracy in name only.