Mtongwiza elected new Zimbabwe Rugby Union president

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Seasoned rugby administrator Losson Mtongwiza was elected new president of the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) at an elective AGM in Harare on Saturday.

Mtongwiza takes over from Aaron Jani, the outgoing president, who was bidding to extend his reign after being in office for seven years.

The 50-year-old Mtongwiza, who had served as one Jani’s two deputies polled seven votes, one more than Jani, in a tight race for the influential post.

Former Zimbabwe international Gerald Sibanda had three votes while Gilbert Nyamutsamba, an ex-Zimbabwe Sevens player and coach, managed just one vote.

Mtongwiza will be deputised by former Sables eighthman Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, who was elected the vice-president (north) after receiving nine votes.

Parirenyatwa polled the highest number of votes in the entire polls as he beat Joseph Kawonza and Abigail Mnikwa, who had five and three votes, respectively.

Bulawayo-based coach and administrator Thembalami Ncube was elected the vice-president (south)

Ncube has also served as the Bulawayo Metropolitan Rugby Football Board (BMFRB) chairman.

He received eight votes ahead of Shasha Gomez (six), outgoing vice-president (South) Martin Shone (two) and Nyamutsamba, who could only muster a single vote in his second attempt to make it into the ZRU leadership.

Mtongwiza said he would prioritize the development of the game through coaching education programmes meant to broaden and deepen the reserve of qualified coaches in the country.

“There are a couple of things that come to mind right off the bat, with the top being development, and I have a big plan there. I want to train roughly a thousand coaches every year and make sure we have no less than 4 000 certified coaches when my term ends,” Mtongwiza said.

“High performance is also a big part of my plan and here the goal is to make sure all our players start training at the highest level from a very young age.”

Another major target Mtongwiza has set for his term of office is to ensure that ZRU secure land to construct a headquarters and a new home ground for use by the national teams.

 

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