By FELIX MALUNGA –
THE Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) council converge in Chililabombwe today to chart a new course for the local sport and elect a new executive to run the affairs of rugby for the next four years.
However, the top brass is set to be retained for a second term in office after being unopposed at the close of nominations.
ZRU president, Martin Musunka, vice-president, Owen Mhango and general secretary, Francis Chitambo are assured of winning-back their positions.
The only battle in the top bracket will be for the position of treasurer where incumbent Obby Simuchile is facing a fierce challenge from Ndola Wanderers chairperson, Kabwe Kampamba.
While Simuchile hopes his works will do the campaign for him, Kampamba said he wanted to bring accountability, transparency, effective, efficiency and professionalism in the administration of rugby.
For the committee member positions, John Chibuye and Moono Muleya, who are recontesting will battle for the three slots against Red Arrows’ Sam Simwanda and rugby coach, Enoch Shikabeta.
The candidature of Green Eagles’ Lupupa Mwangala was annulled because Prisons, the club which seconded his nomination was not in good standing with ZRU.
Prisons are ineligible to second Mwangala’s nomination because they have not paid the affiliation fee.
After today’s elections, the Musunka executive, which came in office two years ago, is assured of holding their positions for four years in line with the International Rugby Board (IRB) requirements.
Apart from the elections where Sports Council of Zambia vice-chairperson, Emmanuel Katebe and acting general secretary Mann Muchimba will officiate, the ZRU council will debate on the audited financial statements and also the union’s report.
Some of the highlights at this morning’s august gathering will be Copperfields Mining Services extension of their sponsorship of the Knock Out Cup competition where the firm poured K50,000 into the inaugural event last year.
Buildcon Investments also expected to extend their historic sponsorship of the rugby league, which ran for two years.
Musunka said in an interview yesterday that Buildcon had indicated their willingness to continue supporting rugby growth in Zambia.
He said his outgoing ZRU executive also managed to embrace all affiliates, giving them equal opportunities of being true stakeholders in various rugby activities.
“It was the feeling of the outgoing executive that all affiliates are equal and should be on equal footing. This is why, during our term of office, we managed to rotate our council meetings and further gave clubs to host high-profile games like the finals of the inaugural Super 8 which were hosted by Nchanga while Mufulira hosted the penultimate stage games.