ZRU swallows its pride


Ndamu Sandu

IN an about-turn the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has swallowed its pride and communicated with lawyers Muzangaza, Mandaza and Tomana over the suspension of Sables captain Vict

or Olonga, IndependentSport heard this week.


Olonga’s lawyers wrote to ZRUlast month requesting the Union “to furnish us with written sus-pension order, giving reasons for the suspension within seven days of receipt of the letter to enable the lawyers to proceed with their client’s instructions to appeal against the player’s suspension.”


ZRU neither responded to the request nor communicated with the player’s lawyers within the stipulated seven-day period.


The Union’s president Lawrence Majuru on Wednesday said their lawyer was out of the country but had talked to Olonga’s lawyers.


“Our lawyer was out of the cou-ntry but there is now communica-tion between him and the player’s lawyers,” Majuru said.


IndependentSport could not get comment from the player’s lawyer as he was said to be attending a court case.


Olonga was suspended last month after ZRU had accused him of playing a pivotal role in the cancellation of a crunch Zimbabwe/Madagascar Africa Cup tie in July.


The match, scheduled for Harare Sports Club in July, was called off after the players said the proposed venue was in a deteriorating state for the tie the Sables were expected to win by a comprehensive margin.


The ZRU then appointed an ad hoc committee answerable to the executive committee to probe the circumstances leading to the cancellation of the match.


Under patron Jerry Nhete, the committee ruled that Olonga was a bad leader for the team and had influenced player rebellion in camp. In its investigations the committee found Olonga central to players’ dissension, showing clear weaknesses in terms of his role as captain.


Rugby experts however said Olonga was sacrificed on the altar of expediency as he had no case to answer.


Experts say the suspension openeda political can of worms and highlighted the beginning of the end of the tenure of the current executive who critics have accused of administrative boobs and sho-rtsightedness in the running of the multi-million dollar sport.