Activist warns he has support of 'highest authorities' October 3, 2006

Chingoka regime under attack

Peter Chingoka: accused of 'rampant corruption and mismanagement' © Getty Images
A bad week for Zimbabwe Cricket grew worse with a threat from Themba Mliswa, the controversial Zimbabwean political activist, that he was set to challenge Peter Chingoka, the board's chairman, and Ozias Bvute, the managing director, with the support of the country's "highest authorities". The board were already reeling from the resignations of Crispen Tsvarai and Bruce Makovah and will be further alarmed by this latest development.

Mliswa, who has a chequered career, was the man widely considered responsible for driving Tatenda Taibu into retirement last year. After seeming to ingratiate himself with the Chingoka-led interim executive, it seems that, as Cricinfo exclusively reported last month, he had a major falling out with the executive's top brass.

Mliswa, heading a group calling itself "Black Pioneers stakeholders", addressed a media conference at a Harare hotel this afternoon, repeating virtually the same allegations that have been raised against the ZC bosses by players and disgruntled stakeholders over the past two years. But this time, Mliswa vowed to finally deal with the alleged maladministration and corruption by the ZC top brass.

"These individuals are holding Zimbabwe cricket to ransom," Mliswa said. "They are killing the game for what are evidently selfish ends. They are directly responsible for the rampant corruption, mismanagement and outright criminal activity that has become the order of the day. We have confidence in the authorities and powers that be in this country that they will deal with this decisively now."

He was sitting alongside Makovah, the former convener of selectors who resigned earlier this week after a fall-out with the country's board. "I resigned because there were serious lack of transparency", Makovah said, adding another reason was the decision by Chingoka and Bvute to allow Kevin Curran, the coach, to dictate selection matters.

Mliswa also revealed he had held discussions with Taibu and now claimed to be on talking terms with him. "I admit to be one of the people who had a go at him, but I never threatened him," he insisted. "I tried to talk to him as a brother. Tatenda is a Zimbabwean. He wants to play for his country... but in the best environment with the best adminstrators".

He also said he had met some of the old provincial chairmen, although he evaded he said he was independent of the former administrators.