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Massive looting at Zimbabwe cricket exposed

A DOSSIER has exposed what could be massive looting by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) top managers who blew a $10 million bank loan in often hazy expenditure over just five months.

It has also emerged ZC’s daily running costs are being dwarfed by hefty perks drawn monthly by the troubled association’s top-heavies. According to the document, ZC secured the $10 million from Ecobank in December 2014, but by May this year, only $97 was remaining. $7.5 million off the loan is said to have been used by b management to repay another controversial obligation to Metropolitan Bank.

The statement shows ZC paid the amount in two sums; $5.5million in December and a further $2 million in January. The statement lists other cash outflow from the loan as January Salaries and Domestic league - Feb ($422,000), November Salaries-Admin and Exec and statutory ($393,000), December salaries ($350,000), as well as a $300,000 payment to NMB Bank among other payments.

A December 2014 salary schedule also shows that ZC CEO Wilfred Mukondiwa pockets a cool $15,700 monthly salary and is highest earner in the organisation, staff and players included. Mukondiwa’s deputy, Esther Lupepe, is second on the top-earners’ list with $10,000, followed by Cricket Affairs general manager Trevor Mutangadura and Corporate Affairs GM Nesta Vaki (both on $5,250).

Remarkably, long-serving media manager Lovemore Banda, who often has the unenviable task of cleaning up the association’s battered image, earns even less than fellow middle management staffers who are his juniors. The former ZBC sports-caster gets paid $2,500 a month while Cricket Operations Manager Chris Chiketa, Human Resources Manager, Tafadzwa Rafemoyo and Commercial Officer, Edward Rainsford are all on $3,000.

The lopsided payroll also shows that as Franchise Administrator of Manicaland Mountaineers, Givemore Makoni, on a $4,000 per-month salary, was paid twice as much as his counterparts at the other franchises. Terry Nyakurimwa, Administrator of Mashonaland Eagles, the country’s biggest and busiest franchise, earns $2,000. Kenyon Ziehl of Midlands Rhinos gets the same amount while Matabeleland Tuskers’ Stanley Staddon is on $2,500.

In addition to his fulltime job in Manicaland, Makoni is also listed on the payroll under “Consultants” for his other role as Zimbabwe’s convener of selectors, which earned him an extra $1,000 every month. Makoni has since left both roles and assigned by ZC to a new post.

Board members Lincoln Bhila and Elisha Kandi also receive $1,500 monthly salaries as “consultants”. But while the other consultants’ titles and contribution to the organisation are stated on the payroll, Bhila and Kandi are simply listed as “consultants.”

One Nyarai Manyande, whose job is to run scorecards during matches, on $750 per month earns more as a part-timer than fulltime development coaches and professionals such as psychotherapists. It has further emerged that while a group of 15 leading players with central contracts are paid competitively, at least by Zimbabwean standards, the majority of cricketers in the country and development coaches are underpaid and wallowing in poverty.

Development coaches, who are crucial in moulding upcoming cricketers, are also paid pittances and operate under poor working conditions without a sound support system.Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the goings on at ZC lambasted the cricket governors for poor management and greed.

 

Worryingly, for an organisation which generates its revenue from the game being played and owes its existence to it, paltry figures went towards development and other cricket-related expenses.

- said the source.

ZC spokesperson Lovemore Banda said he could not readily proffer comment on a document he had not yet seen.

"The challenge is that you are referring to a document that I have not seen," he said.

"Even if I see the document, I may still need to run it past my guys whether this is Development or it is Finance or Human Resources."

Banda however, confirmed he was grossing $2,500 as was shown in the document. ZC has previously come under pressure from the cricket fraternity to publish audited accounts of how much exactly was borrowed from Metropolitan Bank, the payment plan and interest rates as well as how the money was used.

A number of players and coaches have also prematurely ended their careers in frustration. This exposé comes at a time Zimbabwean cricket seems to be a downward spiral again.

The national team’s recent humiliating defeat at the hands of minnows Afghanistan has sparked outrage among fans on social media. Zimbabwe lost both the ODI and Twenty20 series to the International Cricket Association (ICC) Associate side, handing the Asians historic first ever series wins over a full member of the ICC.

The resurfacing feeling of uncertainty within ZC and the game in general has been blamed by many for the team’s embarrassing defeat. Cricket in Zimbabwe had appeared to be on an upswing on and off the field after Wilson Manase took over as chairman on interim basis from the retiring Peter Chingoka in July 2014.

But Manase soon fell out with a senior secretariat safeguarding its comfortable position after he started making unpopular decisions such as balancing books and streamlining the organisation as well as moves to cut salaries of the organisation’s elaborate executive. And when he tried to seek his own term at board elections in August, Manase was defeated by Tavengwa Mukuhlani after what is believed to have been a cleverly engineered campaign. The Harare lawyer and businessman did not even make it to the new board.

Source - New Zimbabwe



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