ZIMBABWE Rugby Union (ZRU) president Aaron Jani’s profile in African rugby continues to grow after he was elected the new treasurer of Rugby Africa at the continental rugby governing body’s elective general meeting in Cape Town yesterday.
Jani, a former Zimbabwe international received 17 votes to beat the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Herman Bhonyo, who polled 15 votes.
He takes over the position of treasurer from Elvis Tano from the Ivory Coast.
Jani told StandardSport in an interview yesterday that he was delighted to serve in the new influential role which ensures the country continues to make big strides as a powerhouse in African rugby both on and off the field of play.
“I am elated and grateful for the privilege and honour to serve Rugby Africa in my new role as treasurer,” Jani said.
“A big thank you to Africa. This is a major recognition of the strides Zimbabwe has made in taking their rightful position in the centre of Rugby in Africa. Grateful to Rugby Africa for the honour and privilege to serve,” he said.
The new position is another feather in Jani’s profile in the continental game since his March 2019 election to Rugby Africa’s executive committee (exco), where the ZRU president emerged with the highest votes by any candidate on the exco.
Yesterday, the well-respected Zimbabwean rugby administrator, was voted onto the Rugby Africa executive board that will be headed by Ghanaian Herbert Mensah.
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Menasah was elected after defeating his rival Andrew Owor from Uganda by 30 votes to one, while there was one spoilt ballot paper.
The Ghanaian rugby administrator has close links with Zimbabwe having played club and provincial rugby in the country in the 80s.
He played a single first-class game for Zimbabwean provincial side Mashonaland in 1985 and scored the winning try against a powerful Italy side.
In his acceptance speech, Mensah, who has been a driving force for the development and growth of rugby in Ghana, reiterated his passionate vision for the growth of African Rugby.
Mensah said, "As we embark on this journey, I want us to project rugby as an alternative team sport, gain financial independence and improve the World Rugby Elite Programme. My aim is to make Rugby Africa the gold standard for sports administration on the African continent."