New ZRU president Mtongwiza prioritises constitution

26 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
New ZRU president Mtongwiza prioritises constitution

The Sunday Mail

Zimpapers Sports Hub

NEWLY ELECTED Zimbabwe Rugby Union president Losson Mtongwiza has said the top item on his agenda is to address some flaws in the union’s constitution.

Mtongwiza, who until yesterday was the ZRU vice president (North), edged incumbent Aaron Jani in a close contest by 7-6 votes.

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) president Thabani Gonye, who was the elections presiding officer, urged the incoming executive committee to expedite amendments to their constitution to ensure it is in line with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the Olympic body’s statutes.

The union’s 129th annual meeting went without incident and saw former Sables eighthman Tapfuma Parirenyatwa and Thembelani Ncube being voted in as the two vice-presidents for the northern and southern regions, respectively.

Four candidates were involved in the presidential race, with the pair of Gerald Sibanda and Gilbert Nyamutsamba managing just three and one vote apiece.

Of the 18 members eligible to vote, 17 cast their ballots in an election that had generated interest in the buildup to the annual general meeting.

Parirenyatwa finished with nine votes, the highest of the entire polls, and beat Joseph Kawonza and Abigail Mnikwa, who had five and three votes, respectively.

Ncube was another big winner with eight votes ahead of Shasha Gomez (six), outgoing vice-president (South) Martin Shone (two) and former Sevens national team coach Nyamutsamba, who could only muster a single vote in his second attempt to make it into the ZRU leadership.

An ecstatic Mtongwiza was already plotting his four-year mission soon after winning.

“Yes, I am obviously very happy and excited. It is going to be a very busy four years for us all,” he said. “I have been looking forward to it for some time now. I have been involved with the administration of the game for so long and I know exactly what needs fixing and what needs attending to.

“There are a couple of things that come to mind right off the bat, with the top being development, and I have a big plan there. I want to train roughly a thousand coaches every year and make sure we have no less than 4 000 certified coaches when my term ends.

“High performance is also a big part of my plan and here the goal is to make sure all our players start training at the highest level from a very young age.”

He stressed on his grand plan of securing housing for the union and a new home ground for use by the national teams.

The Old Hararians rugby club boss indicated that he plans to lease a piece of land that is set to house the union’s offices, a working rugby ground, a dining area and a gym. Mtongwiza reiterated his desire to hire a director of rugby who will work on a full-time basis.

He devoted much of his address to the constitution, which he noted needed urgent attention.

 

“I ran a solid campaign and I think that the tipping point for me was the realisation from the electorate that there are a few things that I initiated like gender and equity policy and some proposed constitution reforms,” he said.

“Constitutional reform is top on my agenda and we currently have a legal team at the union working on it and I am glad that the ZOC president availed to us his legal practitioners for guidance.

“We will take them on the offer as soon as possible and work together to update our constitution and align it with current practices.”

Outgoing president Jani conceded defeat and pledged to continue to support the ZRU.

He said he would also ensure a quick and smooth transition to the new executive.

“It’s the nature of elections and elections can go either way,” said Jani. “The best man, on the day, won and I wish him all the best and I will be available to assist in any way I can.

“I hope that the base that we have set up will be used as a springboard so that the new board continues to grow the game.’’

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