THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) yesterday finally bowed to pressure and regularised the appointment of Colleen de Jong as chief executive officer (CEO) at their annual general meeting (AGM) held at Prince Edward School, Harare.
ZRU president John Falkenberg announced in his address that de Jong, who until yesterday had previously held the position of executive vice-president had resigned from her post to take up the position of CEO.
De Jong was appointed onto the ZRU board by Falkenberg as a replacement to former women’s rugby chairperson Aisha Tsimba who had resigned following her appointment to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) board.
However, her appointment was in violation of the union’s constitution adopted in 2012 which states that the executive board was supposed to have voted for Tsimba’s replacement at the annual indaba or called for an extra ordinary general meeting.
“As president, I would like to thank my vice-president Nyararai Sibanda for his tireless work in resurrecting provincial structures in Zimbabwe which is a work in progress and for his sound advice,” Falkenberg said.
“My other vice-president, Colleen de Jong, who as of today will work to ensure the continuity has resigned as vice-president and in accordance with constitutional guidelines, the board will appoint a new vice-president to serve until the next electoral AGM which be in February 2016.
“Colleen will remain with Zimbabwe Rugby Union in a new role as CEO. A very big thank you to all the hard work you have put into rugby over the last two years. In my humble opinion, she is one of the best administrators the union has had for many years.”
Yesterday’s AGM was overseen by Namibian Rugby Union president Bradley Basson, who is a member of the Rugby Africa (formerly Confederation of African Rugby) executive committee.
The SRC, who have in previous years sent a representative were, however, conspicuous by their absence at yesterday’s meeting which was moved from March 8 after ZRU indicated that most of their affiliates were yet to hold their annual meetings.
Meanwhile, ZRU, like most local sports associations, has struggled financially, reflecting the current economic turmoil prevailing in the country.
According to the ZRU’s statement of income and expenditure for 2014, the union’s total income amounted to $400 977,46 against the union’s total expenses of $425 099.
Most of the union’s income was generated from the World Rugby (Formerly International Rugby Board)’s annual development grant which was increased from $119 728 in 2013 to $133 404,50.