Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Cambridge Dictionary defines arrogance as the quality of being unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important, or know more than other people.
It is also defined as an offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
Whatever one chooses, one thing is clear, both these definitions provide us with a perfect description of some, if not all, executive members of the Zimbabwe Netball Association (Zina) who are led by the long-serving and previously respected administrator Leticia Chipandu.
It’s common knowledge that the country’s supreme sports body, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), issued a statement in November last year ordering Zina to conduct an elective congress by January 31, 2020 and also to formally register splinter league, the Rainbow Amateur Netball League (Ranl) as its affiliate.
However, what does the ‘untouchable’ Zina do? They do nothing! They not only don’t register Ranl but they also totally disregard the SRC order to have an elective congress by the set timelines.
According to Chipandu the reason why they found it unnecessary to comply with the SRC directive was because they were following their constitution.
“On elections, and the Sports Commission’s directive, let me say Zina is operating with a constitution, and that constitution is registered with the SRC,’’ Chipandu told the media while justifying her association’s apprent insubordination.
She referred to a 2013 document which, according to her, is the one registered with the SRC but crucially, the SRC seems to be holding on to a completely different document. So what Chipandu is telling us is that the SRC is in breach of its mandate and does not know what they are talking about. If this is not arrogance of alarming levels then I don’t know what it is.
Is Chipandu and Zina telling us that the country’s supreme body, made up of men and women of repute, people with various expertise from legal to marketing and sports administration would just come up with this order for Zina to hold an election without considering the implications of such an order?
What is so special about this association that it can decide to defy an order with reckless impunity? This is the same association that carried some shadowy characters to the Vitality Netball World Cup finals in Liverpool, England last year and nothing was done to it. Even when one of the shadowy characters on the plane to England, one Phillip Masimba, younger brother to Zina organizing secretary Felix, decided to abuse his visa conditions by vanishing into thin air in that country, authorities saw nothing wrong with that embarrassing situation.
I just wonder how authorities would have reacted had it been an official from any other discipline, say Zifa. Again, I reiterate that there is nothing special about Zina, perceived or otherwise and SRC must simply act on their wayward antics and bring them to book. We cannot afford to have an association disobeying lawful orders in the glare of the public, not to say behind walls is okay. It’s setting a very wrong precedent because tomorrow, how will the SRC wield its power to other associations if Zina executive members can do as they please?
It’s my hope that what the SRC director general Prince Mupazviriho said during the week that they are seized with the matter will indeed come life for it will be a sad start to the year if Zimbabweans don’t get to see corrective measures taken.
For so many years, Zina has been doing as they please. Talk of victimization, talk of threats, talk of poor corporate governance where the president would always be the head of delegation for most, if not all, national team trips.
It’s known that some of the Zina members even tried to have senior Ranl executive committee members, players whose teams had affiliated to Ranl, fired from their work places on claims that they were opposition elements, including the owner and managing director of Glow Petroleum, Aaron Chinhara
This kind of behavior by Zina is unacceptable, improper, intolerable, offensive, undesirable and extremely deplorable.