Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Government has whipped into line the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union (ZAU) for trying to host the Cana Zone IV Swimming and Waterpolo Championships in Bulawayo from February 16-17 without clearance.
Any sporting event involving a foreign nation needs clearance from the government through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
It has emerged that ZAU and its president Mary Kloppers had sought to jump protocol during the bidding process.
More than 10 countries are set to be in Bulawayo next month for the event, which, according to the championships’ brochure, is a Fina approved event where swimmers can achieve A and B Fina qualifying times for the 17th Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, later this year.
The SRC yesterday said hosting of the Cana Championships “was not a personal matter”, but a national issue that must involve the government and other players.
“There is no way they can host such a big tournament without involvement of the Government and other players. We have aspects of security which the police and other organs must be heavily involved in. We have immigration issues, health issues, which the respective government ministries need to be heavily involved in, and we are saying ZAU can’t run such an event alone,” said the SRC acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere.
He said they had since ordered ZAU to follow laid down procedure and it was the SRC’s hope that they would comply as the country stands to benefit immensely from hosting such a big swimming competition.
“We want undivided adherence to the country’s laws and associations need to know that we will not accede to hosting of international events without compliance,” said Muchechetere.
He said like any international event, there is a need to have an all encompassing local organising committee, and “not just a committee made up of ZAU officials alone”.
“It’s nothing personal against ZAU, but we are saying enough is enough with the secret hosting of international events and it must be a lesson to all national associations,” Muchechetere said.
Kloppers said it has always been procedure to follow protocol, but asked if they had done so before bidding to host the championships, she said: “I am not going to talk to you again,” before terminating the call.