SRC clips Zimbabwe Aquatics Union’s wings

In a letter to ZAU president Onismo Nhondova, SRC director-general Elta Nengomasha painted a grim picture of the goings-on at the union.

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has wielded its axe on the Zimbabwe Aquatics Union (ZAU) leadership and will soon be appointing a committee to run its affairs following squabbles within the organisation.

The union has been running without a legitimate constitution over the years. In addition, there has been a protracted battle over the control of the association, leading to the SRC’s intervention. The SRC intervention has led to the  suspension of Zimbabwe Swimming chairperson Zanele Nkomazana, a member of the ZAU executive.

In a letter to ZAU president Onismo Nhondova, SRC director-general Elta Nengomasha painted a grim picture of the goings-on at the union.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission noted with grave concern the situation obtaining within the national sports association (NSA), that is the Zimbabwe Aquatics Union. The genesis of the current circumstances of ZAU are premised on documented concerns raised by an affiliate of ZAU, Zimbabwe Swimming, in respect of allegations of governance shortcomings within ZAU. You will be aware of the role assumed by the SRC in its many attempts to address these and other related documented issues, by way of mediation involving ZAU and its affiliates, in particular, Zimbabwe Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water. In doing so, the SRC was acting in terms of Section 20(c) of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act [the Act], obliging it to discharge of its mandate to ‘advise’, ‘assist’ and ‘supervise’ national sports associations. Accordingly, after detailed consideration and deliberation of a chronology of the issues affecting the NSA, the board of commissioners of the SRC [the board], considered that there existed adequate grounds for a resolution to institute disciplinary proceedings against the NSA in terms of Section 30 of the Act,” Nengomasha wrote.

She added: “The board was of the prima facie position that ZAU had ceased to operate as a national association and / or had conducted itself in a manner which is contrary to the national interest, pursuant to subsections (1)(a) and (c) of Section 30 of the Act aforesaid. ZAU will be aware of that in terms of the foregoing provisions.”

The SRC requested ZAU and its affiliates to make representations on the matter before it takes further action.

She said the SRC was mandated to appoint a committee to run the affairs of ZAU.

“The consequential remedies available to the board are set out in subsections (2) to (4) of the said Section 30 of the Act. Your attention is respectfully drawn to, in particular, the statutory provisions relating to the appointment of a committee to administer the affairs of, in this case, ZAU, which committee shall have all the rights, duties and responsibilities of the governing body it has displaced.”

Nkomazana is also accused of communicating with international organisations without authority.

“Our correspondence dated December 5, 2023, issued in terms of section 30 of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act, refers, as does the response received from ZAU with accompanying documentation. It is noted that your direct and unauthorised communication with Africa Aquatics and World Aquatics undermined the authority of ZAU, as well as the statutory authority of the SRC, and as such was contrary to the national interest. Kindly be notified of your suspension as a member of the executive of the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union with immediate effect.  The suspension is in terms of Section 30(1)(c)(i) of the Act and shall subsist until such time when elections are held to appoint new office bearers in ZAU under a new constitution. Please be guided accordingly,” Nengomasha said.

Before her suspension, Zimbabwe Swimming and its nine provinces had through a petition, passed a vote of no confidence in Nhondova, accusing him of a cocktail of misdemeanours.

Only Masvingo, where Nhondova hails from, did not sign.

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