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Joe’s lost diary


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ALLERGIES: Competency, criticism.

January: I had never been this lazy before. I didn’t record anything at all in my diary this month.

But over the years I had become accustomed, during this month, to jotting notes on our marathon runners’ performance in Angola on New Year’s Eve. Well, those poor runners thought we were interested in sharing their prize monies and I lost interest in them!

More importantly, however, January 2006 should be the fourth anniversary of the Sports and Recreation Commission’s gaffe when they deregistered the Amateur Athletics Association of Zimbabwe that I had assiduously led.

The SRC appointed AM to lead the AAAZ. They thought a water engineer whose only achievement in athletics was leading our marathon team at the All Africa Games in 1995 could do the job better than me.

I must say I was also gobsmacked when the other AM, ND, TG and JV accepted to serve on the SRC-appointed interim committee when they should have commiserated with me.

February: Nothing again happened that I cared to note down this month. But going back to 2002 again, I remember the IAAF — the supreme world athletics body — refusing to grant its recognition of AM and his power-hungry crew.

Hurray! The IAAF said they only recognised me, Joe, as the legitimate leader of the AAAZ.

March: The IAAF sets an ultimatum on the SRC and the government, threatening that Zimbabwean athletes would be excluded from international events if federal elections are not held before the end of June.

April: Well I didn’t fool anyone on April Fools Day this year, but this day certainly reminds me of the so-called Millennium Academy circus in 2000 that got my sworn enemies excited as they attempted to reverse the gains we had made in athletics since Zimbabwe’s independence.

I, in my capacity as the popular president of the AAAZ, ban the Millennium Academy for, among other crimes, interfering with and plagiarising the association’s goals and objectives.

It’s funny some people think my association and the so-called academy can co-exist.

May: Still in 2000, I foil the SRC’s attempt to lift the ban I had slapped on the academy. I’m sure even up to this day those at the SRC still fear me and have no valour to challenge me.

June: Well, I’m too lazy to remember anything this month.

Maybe I should start taking my diary seriously and record all the important events in case those ungrateful journalists start saying I have achieved nothing since my re-election in December 2003.

Remember they tried to create fiction that I had locked up that beautiful sprinter at the Commonwealth Games in the 90s, resulting in her failing to compete!

For now I have been away from the sport for quite some time but I can always catch up by browsing the same newspapers though.

July 5: We see it fit that Young Talkmore Nyongani should captain our country in our quest for glory at the 15th edition of the African Track and Field Championships in Mauritius from August 9-14.

July 11: I’m glad Talkie is intensifying his preparations for Mauritius as he is expected to run in Lausanne, Switzerland, tonight. Surely the young man is a product of our hard work and I’ll stand even on the highest podium to claim the credit.

July 18: Young Talkie gives a good account of himself — and Zimbabwe athletics at large — at the 31st edition of the IAAF Super Grand Prix after he finishes a plausible fifth place in the men’s 400m event in Lausanne.

July 19: I’m glad the NAAZ has rubberstamped my decision to retain the “Golden Boys” who won us gold in the 4x400m relay at the last African Championships.

We expect Talkie, Brian, Lewis and Lloyd to do us proud again. Nelton of course is the reserve.

On other issues, I must say I’m pleased my astute leadership has seen the first-ever Zimbabwean female to win gold in discus at the Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sports Associations Games in Tshwane, South Africa.

I brief sister CP to keep an eye on the Ziscosteel Track and Field Championship in Redcliff this weekend where we might notice another result of our indefatigable efforts as NAAZ.

July 25: Talkie ends his European excursion on a rather disappointing note when he finishes sixth overall in the men’s 400m event at the DN Galan Super Grand Prix athletics meet in Stockholm, Sweden, tonight.

July 26: I think the ZRP Commissioner’s 21km road race takes place today at Kamunhu Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza (is it Mabvuku?).

July 27: Lloyd Zvasiya gives us a boost ahead of the African Championships next month when he finishes second in the 400m finals at the Dublin meet in Ireland last night.

August 7: Disturbed some people claim we are not serious after we manage to send only four athletes to Mauritius — Talkmore Nyongani, Brian Dzingai, Lewis Banda and Temba Ncube. Nelton Ndebele will follow, I’m sure.

We have to be grateful that we have managed to send a team at all considering the economic crisis we are facing. By the way I saw it not necessary to bother corporates who are struggling on their own for sponsorship, while resorting to that evil SRC will never happen.

Sharon Tavengwa and Sandra Chimwaza should not lose heart that we could not find money to send them to Mauritius.

August 8: Disheartened by Zvasiya’s apparent lack of patriotism. I can’t believe for all that athletics has given him, the boy says he can’t fly himself from London to represent Zimbabwe in Mauritius.

For God’s sake we can refund him as long as he gives us proof, such as a ticket that he has flown all the way from Britain.

I see this boy is hell-bent on tarnishing my image and that of the NAAZ.

August 9: The Mauritius extravaganza starts. It’s unfortunate I’m not there to give our boys morale support because I have no doubt my mere presence would have given them the confidence they need.

So Zvasiya has chosen to embarrass us by failing to turn up in Mauritius, which means we can’t defend our gold medal won in Congo two years ago, as we cannot raise a team.

I don’t know why Nelton has not travelled to Mauritius as the reserve as I had directed. Does he have a passport? Or can I believe the boy could not raise his airfare that we could have refunded on his return?

I want a full inquiry into all these unfortunate incidents.

August 10: I’m sad my brother Tendai Tagara has had to abandon national duty in Mauritius to mourn his wife who passed away. May her soul rest in peace.

Well, I hope Talkie will do well doubling as team manager while Brian will have to be comfortable as coach.

August 13: I told you! Talkie takes world by storm by winning bronze in the men’s 400m final in Mauritius. I’m pleased all the athletes have performed so unbelievably well.

August 18: It was a very fair performance from the team considering what they had gone through in their preparations. All the athletes trained as individuals and we are pleased with what they have done under the circumstances. I can safely and confidently proclaim Beijing here we come.

Talking about the 2008 Olympics, I’m sure we’ll do well if we continue as committed as we are.

NB: The excerpts above have been randomly selected from the diary, which may mean some juicy parts could have been left out.

DISCLAIMER: We regret we were unable to verify the owner of the diary, who refers to himself as Joe, but we would appreciate it if anyone out there could tell us who he is. Additional information on the diary owner — who we believe holds a top post in athletics — is welcome.

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