Chingoka in line for fresh term

Darlington Majonga/Enock Muchinjo

PETER Chingoka could be re-elected the substantive Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman when the union’s board is expected to be in place this monthend.

Sport minister Aeneas Chigwedere, empowered by ZC’s new co

nstitution, has the prerogative to handpick seven of the union’s 12 board members who are widely expected to include Chingoka.

ZC’s new 10 provincial associations have already held elections and will meet next week to choose five of their representatives to fill up the other national board seats.

Chingoka did not stand in any of the provincial elections, which means the veteran administrator — who has not publicly ruled himself out for another term — can only look up to Chigwedere.

Chigwedere has not hinted on his choices yet, but sources said Chingoka was “very much in the picture”.

Chingoka is chairman of the interim ZC committee that was put in office by the Sports and Recreation Commission after dissolving the substantive board in January following protracted administrative wrangles.

The 52-year-old administrator has been at the helm of ZC since 1992, shortly after Zimbabwe gained Test status.

Pressure had however been mounting on Chingoka to quit after allegations of fund mismanagement were levelled against him and his board. Findings of a probe into the allegations are yet to be made public.

Efforts to get hold of Chingoka failed yesterday.

However, ZC spokesman Lovemore Banda said Chingoka would be “honoured to accept the call” if he was reappointed to the board.

“While we are reluctant to hazard guesses how the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture may or may not use his constitutional prerogative, it is pertinent to point out that Mr Chingoka, indeed like any other Zimbabwean who meets any one of the criteria for ZC board appointment, is eligible for (appointment to the board),” Banda told IndependentSport yesterday.

“Again 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.”

If Chingoka is one of Chigwedere’s choices, he becomes a hot favourite for the chairmanship considering his experience and the respect he commands among the administrators who have remained in the game after last year’s quarrel.

The provincial elections last week saw incumbent ZC interim committee members Cyprian Mandenge and Crispen Tsvarayi emerging chairmen in Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan provinces respectively, ZC’s biggest affiliates.

Meanwhile, the domestic feud in Zimbabwe cricket appears heading for resolution after established clubs that broke away from ZC-sanctioned competitions and structures last season were re-affiliated last week.

Of the six clubs, only Universals have not agreed to come back.

“What happened in the past is now history,” said Mandenge. “We now want to restore domestic cricket to where it used to be. We had our fights, but that is a thing of the past now. At the end of the day cricket must be the winner.”

Mandenge said the five clubs — Old Hararians, Old Georgians, Alexandra, Takashinga and Harare Sports Club — would play in a provincial 12-team league with the best of the smaller clubs that filled the gaps last season.

Takashinga will have their two sides in the league.