Axed Rugby Union Board Members Challenge Dismissal

DISBANDED Zimbabwe Rugby Union quartet of Nody Kanyangarara, Tapiwa Mangezi, Joseph Lambert and Nyararai Sibanda has filed an application with the Administrative Court challenging their dismissal by the Sport and Recreation Commission in August this year.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

The erstwhile board was fired on allegations of incompetence and dismal run of form that saw the Sables lose four matches to Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia and Uganda was replaced by a new one.

“Take notice that the appellants hereby appeal against the whole decision of the Sports and Recreation Commission made in terms of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act (Chapter 25:15) on the 8 th of August 2017),” read part of the appeal gleaned by Sportbrief.

Former Zimbabwe Rugby Union President Nyararai Sibanda
Former Zimbabwe Rugby Union President Nyararai Sibanda

Through their lawyers Sengwe Law Chambers, the fired quartet argued they were rashly misjudged and dismissed by the SRC (the respondent) without ample time to prepare their defenses.

“Respondent grossly misdirected itself by finding appellants guilty of punishable misconduct without (i) notifying them of the charges preferred against them (ii) affording them time to prepare their defenses and (iii) any evidence of their having crime,” said the appellants.

Former Zimbabwe Rugby Union Board Vice President Nody Kanyangarara
Former Zimbabwe Rugby Union Board Vice President Nody Kanyangarara

The appellants also claimed there was a breakdown of communication between SRC and themselves reesulting in the unfair dismissal.

“Respondent erred at any rate in finding that correspondence sent to fourth appellant in his capacity as president of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union constituted notice to first, second and third appellants of charges of misconduct against them when respondent did not copy or deliver such correspondents to them or require fourth respondent to do so,” they argued.

There was harmonious coordination between them despite SRC firing them on grounds of in-fighting.

“Respondent grossly misdirected itself at any rate in convicting appellants of in-fighting and divisions in the absence of any hostility, quarrel or antagonism amongst and between them,” they said.

The SRC according to the appellants went overboard dealing with issues beyond their jurisdiction.

“Respondent further grossly misdirected itself by dealing with issues that fell outside its competence such issues being reserved by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union Constitution for the Judicial Committee established under and in terms of Clause 15 of the Constitution,” they added.

The president and Executive Board of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union were suspended but Chief Executive Officer who is also the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union survived the chop.

Meanwhile, the previous board has since been replaced by a provisional committee headed Russel Karimazondo. However, the Sport and Recreation Commission is yet to replace two members who declined the offer citing various reasons.

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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