NOW that the new Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) executive committee has or is almost settled down, it’s time for it to carry out a critical assessment of what led to the ouster of the entire past Thomas Chileshe-led executive.
The catch-word is critical because failure to do that, they risk being kicked out of office before or after their first term as affiliates seem to want more transparency and accountability in the running of the federation so that boxers and the sport can benefit.
One of the key issues which ZBF should consider seriously is innovation or the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing things. How can they innovate? An insider at the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) says there was no need, for instance, for the federation to expect hand outs from the government.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity last year said sports affiliates like ZBF were expected to be innovative and stand on their own to a large extent and emulate the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) which was working with sponsorship partners and that government should only come in to play a supplementary role.
It is clear to all close to the sport that the previous executive was often embroiled in unending wrangles. If it was not corruption where boxers paid some officials to gain favours such selection to the national team, it was misapplication of affiliation fees to sheer incompetence such as boxers being starved in a foreign country while attending regional competitions.
As if these vices were not enough, the previous executive, particularly the top leadership had a propensity to perpetuate itself in power at all cost defying the provisions of the constitution resulting in legal challenges by the affiliates.
Selection of boxers to the national team was always a thorny issue with the previous executive and there used to be numerous complaints about boxers not being picked on merit, but on how much they could part with for the officials. Shameful as this act was, it went on unabated and I’m sure the new executive will be wary of committing similar crimes if they want to stay in office long.
I am aware that some of the men in the new executive are upright, men of integrity and they won’t wish to tarnish their reputations which they have built over years with one careless act of greed.
A recent statement from general secretary Bright Chomba that the executive would aspire to work in harmony with all stake holders was very inspiring and it is something to take seriously. The previous executive was removed from office partly because of its divisive style of administration.
Indeed there’s need to start now with intensive preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and other continental and world competitions such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games. ZBF these are your challenges.
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