Sports bodies grappling with governance issues

GOVERNANCE was a key issue of the previous board of the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ), whose mandate expired last year, and it is not difficult to see why, especially when one sees what goes on in a number of organisations spearheading various sports disciplines – the pit-falls and setbacks are too much to bear.

A few weeks ago, I stressed that there is need for sports associations and federations to be innovative in their approach to raising funds as opposed to merely writing letters which usually do not even get to the intended offices.
In the last four months or more, the NSCZ has had to tackle matters of internal strife and bad management with some cases where some executive committees have been dissolved and others directed to go for fresh elections.
There have been cases involving the Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ), Zambia Cricket Union (ZCU) and Zambia Table Tennis Federation (ZTTA), which have seen officials at each other’s throats forcing the mother sports body to step in and bring sanity.
The case of CFZ, being the more recent, saw president Ericho Nshikokola slap indefinite suspensions on general secretary Chanda Nsakanya, tournaments director Aaron Banda and, ironically, disciplinary committee chairperson Moses Kalapizya.
In reviewing the matter, NSCZ declared the action by Nshikokola null and void, hence the suspension of the trio were lifted.
As for table tennis, the executive was dissolved for allegedly staying in office beyond its mandated period and although an interim committee was put in place to organise elections, nothing has happened as long-serving Charles Chenda took the matter to court.
Chenda has been at the helm of table-tennis almost the same period as Elias Mpondela at the Zambia Amateur Athletics Association.
These are a few examples of internal wrangles bordering on accusations and counter-accusations, a situation that is not only healthy for sports development but also something that was spoken against by Minister of Sports Moses Mawere shortly after he assumed office.
A question that begs is, how long will this go on, especially for the likes of ZCU, whose executives always seem to exit through petitions?
ZCU has hardly been stable since Rasheed Patel left the scene.
The NSCZ, in its half-baked state, therefore, has a lot of housekeeping work to be done by ensuring its affiliates adhere to the statutes contained in their constitutions.
Half-baked in the sense that the seven board members appointed by the minister are yet to be announced and come on board to join their elected colleagues, though assurance has been given that the process has reached an advance stage.
The legal and disciplinary committee of NSCZ should apply some preventive maintenance measures by reviewing constitutions with a view to tightening screws where ambiguity appears.
It should also be policy that good governance is a must, with punitive sanctions to apply to those who choose to mismanage sports.
Consultations way to go
Last week, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga met Super Division clubs to explain Barclays Cup sponsorship structure.
At the end of the meeting, clubs that were represented were satisfied with the explanations, especially that Barclays Bank Zambia, sponsors of the country’s only silverware, were represented.
By bringing the sponsor and clubs to the table, Kamanga yet again demonstrated his unflinching desire to remain transparent and accountable in the management of football, especially the Barclays Cup by asking the sponsor to give a break down.
Barclays head for marketing and corporate relations Mato Shimabale outlined the prize money and other expenses.
This is a first in the history of the competition.
Both FAZ and Barclays took note of the clubs’ concerns and all the parties left the meeting fully satisfied.
Had such a meeting been held earlier before the launch of the 2017 competition, Power Dynamos, who have roused a storm in the Barclays Cup, would probably not have pulled out?
Barclays Bank has staked K2.3 million in the soccer championship, with a paltry K605,000 being prize money. Winners will get K350,000 over three matches.
Runners-up will receive K180,000 while man of the match gets K5,000 in each match.
The player and coach-of-the-tournament will pocket K15,000 each while participating clubs are entitled to K2,000 each as a contribution towards their transportation costs.
FAZ will get K300,000 while organising the nine matches costs K213,195.
It is by far more lucrative than the MTN league which offers the winners K250,000 for winning the Super Division.
Surprisingly, a staggering K1,181,805 is the budget for branding.
Why should branding get more money than what clubs, players and coaches will receive collectively?
This is food for thought for clubs.
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