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De Jong Calls It a Day

Written by Admin Published in General News

By Paul Munyuki
COLLEEN de Jong, the woman at the centre of controversy in the Zimbabwe Rugby Union, has resigned.

Her resignation also means that she cannot remain as chief executive of the union.

ZRU president John Falkenberg said his board will from now on stick to the union’s guidelines and will elect a suitable person at a special general meeting.

“To my other VP (vice president) Colleen de Jong, who has of today, in order to ensure the continuity of the board, 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 will be February 2016,” said Falkenberg.

Her appointment to the vice president’s post was the biggest talking point in the lead-up to the annual meeting at Prince Edward yesterday.

De Jong was hand-picked by Falkenberg to replace Aisha Tsimba who had resigned to pursue interests in the Sports Commission. The ZRU constitution only allows existing board members to fill such a vacancy following a voting process by serving board members.

This led to boardroom storms last year.

ZRU and its affiliates also received a harsh lecture from Rugby Africa board member and Namibia Rugby Union president Bradley Basson.

He warned that Zimbabwe should put their house in order if they are to achieve the desired results on the field of play.

“It’s a new trend from Rugby Africa that we send a representative to observe AGMs for our member unions and that is why I am here. As governance issues improve you will realise that results from the teams will also improve.

“Terrible governance demotivates the players and destroys the structures and at the end the results on the field will also show the kind of an administration that you have.

“It’s a pity Zimbabwe last year failed to qualify for the World Cup (Namibia qualified) and they should work hard to make it for 2019.

“The game can not grow without money and the players need the money to stay committed.

“The Cheetahs are doing a good job but like all other smaller nations, (lack of) sponsorship is an issue and you have to engage the government and keep knocking on the doors hoping that eventually one will open,” said Basson.

The ZRU once again failed to produce audited financial results.

According to a statement of income and expenses they released, the ZRU suffered a loss of $24 121,54 and the World Rugby annual development grant was the biggest income they received standing at $133 404.50.

Old Mutual were their biggest funders with $102 967 injected into junior development programmes.

Courtesy of

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