Zimbabwe’s athletics body finally adopts term limits for office bearers

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Tendai Tagara

After having just two presidents in over three decades, the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) voted for leadership term limits on Saturday.

Naaz is currently being led by veteran athletics administrator Tendai Tagara, who is serving his third term which runs until 2024.

Tagara took over from the long-serving former athletics boss Joseph Mungwari, who was accused of clinging on to power for too long while stifling the growth of the sport in the country.

However, in a refreshing move that is expected to promote better governance standards and avoid monopoly of power Naaz is set to move with modern trends by introducing term limits for its presidents and other office-bearers.

The issue of term limits was one of the main items on Naaz’s annual general meeting held in Gweru on Saturday.

Saturday’s meeting saw the national association making several amendments to their constitution.

Tagara revealed that local athletics stakeholders agreed to put in place a limit to the term of office, for office bearers, to a maximum of three terms of four years, to align with the global athletics governing body World Athletics.

“It was agreed that NAAZ follows World Athletics global trend of a maximum three terms of office for a president, of four years of the Olympics circle. Previously we had no limit on the terms,” said Tagara in an interview with The Herald.

Other amendments included the changing of the name International Association of Athletics Federations to World Athletics.

Tagara said they will be sending the amendments to the Sports and Recreation Commission for registration.

These are the highlights on the constitutional amendments.

“We could have done this last year but because we had elections, we did not what to temper with the constitution as that would have sent a wrong message.

“The majority of the amendments are from the World Athletics constitution and SRC recommendations that started three years ago.

“The ratifications will be sent to SRC for registration. If they have reservations they send them back to us, so these are proposed amendments waiting for registration by SRC,” said Tagara.

Meanwhile, the Naaz boss says they are looking forward to a better season next year. Naaz had one athlete, sprinter Ngonidzashe Makusha at the Tokyo Olympics courtesy of a universality slot.

“We have the Africa Junior, Africa Youth and Africa Senior Championships, then the World Championships.

“There are regional competitions and the African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games.

“We are trying to have better organisation of competition next year,” said Tagara.

 

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