Zimbabwe Cricket responds

Reference is made to your article, "Employees misuse ZC funds", in this Sunday's edition (25 May, 2008) of your newspaper.

As custodians of the game, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has no problem with criticism as long as it is constructive and not personal.

For the benefit of your readers and in the interests of balanced reporting, we request that you publish the following facts.  

1) Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) does not have a “considerable sum of US dollars” to spend on activities, which are not its core business, which is the running of cricket in the country, and so it has not acquired Tatu Multimedia Productions. Thus, it is not true that ZC money has been used to buy Tatu. Given the above, it is wrong to talk about ZC officials enjoying profits from Tatu.

2) Tatu is a stand-alone company that ZC has a clear client-agency relationship with, the same relationship ZC has with four or five similar companies. As best practice, we take our business to whichever agency offers us the best deal at that particular time as we are beholden to our stakeholders to give them value for their dollar. In the course of the business, whether with Tatu or any of the other agencies, quotes are sought and orders generated by ZC upon receipt of favourable figures. Thus, to refer to “inflated invoices” is, to say the least, laughable.

3) Anyone privy to the correspondence between the ZC finance department and Tatu’s billing desk would tell you that there were instances when the ZC finance department queried certain invoices and then paid subsequent to satisfactory explanation.

4) Andrew Muzamhindo did not resign from ZC to take up the post of Tatu Managing Director. His contract with ZC had expired. Rather than seeing causality between his departure from ZC and his appointment at Tatu, your reporter should have appreciated the distinction between the two organisations, which meant that Mr Muzamhindo could only run the second after leaving the first. However, because we parted amicably with him, there is no reason why ZC cannot engage in business transactions with Mr Muzamhindo in his area of competence in whichever company he joins.  

5) Such is the distinction between ZC and Tatu that when the ZC Media Department went to the Tatu premises, it was strictly as a tenant after we had looked for office space from our business associates. The department had not been incorporated into Tatu but remained a ZC office housed in a Tatu building and reporting to ZC.   

6) It is true that we had a magazine printed in China. It made economic sense to go that route and we will continue to do that as long as it is good business practice. Other Zimbabwean organisations do that too.

7) The issue of ZC officials allegedly linked to certain political parties is an old one, which we have responded to before. For the record, ZC is apolitical and our common denominator is that which binds us – the game of cricket. What individuals then do in terms of political persuasion becomes their own personal and therefore private business; business that were the organization to pry into would be a violation of the individual’s right of association which is protected by law.

8) Your sports reporter would strengthen his article by quoting any specific instance when a ZC official intimidated “critics by claiming to be linked to the CIO and top government officials.”

Thank you.

Lovemore Banda

Senior Manager: Communications and Media Zimbabwe Cricket

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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