Sort out ZAVA, SCZ mess! 
Published On January 2, 2014 » 2317 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Others, Sports
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Sport On - ChipepoTHE on-going impasse between the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) and its affiliate Zambia Volleyball Association (ZAVA) is worrying and should not have been allowed to get this far.

It is surprising that wrangles have yet again taken centre stage as we enter 2014 when there was much talk on reduced wrangles and focus to be shifted towards sports development.

This stand-off between the SCZ and ZAVA has come at a time when the latter is supposed to be focussing on raising funds and assembling a team to compete at the final round of African qualifiers for a place at the 2014 World Volleyball Championships to be held in Poland.

I have followed keenly the whole episode since the SCZ legal and disciplinary committee announced their decisions following a day-long sitting in Lusaka last week but somewhat disappointed with the turn of events.

Firstly, the big news was that of the sub-committee banning the Elias Mpondela led Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA), a decision which was reversed because many of us had known that the past SCZ committee had cleared the group.

Though the committee told the media they had fresh information which led to the decision being overturned and allow Mpondela to continue operating. Also a casualty is Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) vice president, north, Conrad Musonda, who up to now has not received his
letter despite facing a three month ban.

Musonda’s crime is his plea to the SCZ to consider reducing the number of activities in the hall at the NASDEC which also hosts volleyball games.

His contention was that allowing so many functions in the name of fundraising will leave the playing surface damaged-a genuine concern in my view though other reasons have been withheld.

But the interesting one that has everyone talking is the matter involving ZAVA whose president, Gabriel Muyinda is also National Olympic Committee (NOC) vice president and International Olympic Committee (IOC) health sub-committee.

This is one association that I really felt pity for when it struggled to host the regional championships and their case arises from an allegedly bounced cheque worth K24, 000 meant for payments for hosting the tournament.

Pledges were made by various companies, individuals and SCZ but the actual monies came in at a very slow pace with ZAVA going ahead to stage the competition before the budget could be meet.

This meant getting things on credit with the view of paying back once the pledges were honoured. And from what I have managed to gather from the grapevine, the cheque that bounced was coming from the money the SCZ had given the association.

ZAVA general secretary Charles Haambote, who is also a qualified lawyer, has said the sub-committee has no powers to impose such punishment on the association leaders adding that the committee misdirected itself in the way it handed the matter.

I feel this matter should have been handled in a cordial manner without both parties calling each other names. Thorough investigations should have been done on both ZAVA and ZAAA before the committee rushed to inform the press.

Being a new committee, the SCZ board, in my view, should have called for a meeting with the associations to explain what they expect from there, get to find out their problems and chat the way forward.

Disaffiliating some associations is not the answer because at the end of the day it is the sport that suffers. Many know how these association’s struggles to raise funds to host their own local
tournaments worse off travelling for an international event.

There is need to start the year on a good sporting note and not quarrelling as this will not take sport anywhere. Let focus remain on developing the sport and get better results unlike the case was last year.

The sooner the matter is resolved than can ZAVA get back to concentrate on the upcoming qualifiers. Sort out the mess before it is too late and associations start to lose confidence in the board.

For comments: eliaschipepo@gmail.com

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