Manase’s one-year reign came to an end on Thursday when he was replaced by Tawengwa Mukuhlani who will be at the helm of the new board for the next four years.
Expectations had been high that Manase, who took over from the long-serving Peter Chingoka, would continue in his role, but failure to speedily deal with Utseya’s claims, which some in cricket circles believe to be true, cost the veteran lawyer his position.
“Chief among matters that cost Manase the position was failure to deal with Utseya’s racism allegations with speed. There were concerns that the chairman could have been deliberately dragging the matter and there were fears that the issue would be swept under the carpet because Utseya had raised some pertinent administrative issues that need to be adressed,” said a source.
“There were also fears that because of that, we were regressing from steps taken to promote cricket amongst the country’s black majority.”
Utseya levelled racism allegations against Campbell in a 10,000-worded letter addressed to Manase soon after this year’s Cricket World Cup in March.
Utseya also claimed Campbell had a conflict of interest in setting up Dominus Sport, the company that ran ZC’s marketing affairs during his time as cricket committee chairman, and his actions had an impact on ZC’s funds.
He further alleged that Campbell had a “personal agenda” against him, which influenced his non-selection into Zimbabwe’s playing XI during the World Cup.
During Campbell’s tenure as chairman of the cricket committee, Utseya alleged the former skipper had appointed white coaches and administrators between 2010 and 2012.
The letter was leaked to the media last month and Manase promised that a “committee of enquiry” had been set up to investigate the allegations raised saying the board did not “employ or contract anyone on the grounds of race”.
“Given that the document was addressed and delivered to me and that ZC has since set up a committee of enquiry into the whole matter, it’s disturbing that the document has now been leaked to the media,” Manase said then.
Manase said Utseya’s allegations went against the ZC constitution and its corporate governance structures. He stated that while ZC worked through a number of committees, the decision-making powers rested solely with the board.
Apart from the racism storm, the ZC board source alleged that failure to rotate international matches between Harare and Bulawayo also had a bearing on Manase’s ouster.
Before stepping down as ZC chairman, Chingoka last year sanctioned two international matches for Bulawayo and Queens Sports Club hosted Afghanistan and South Africa in July and August.
“What boggles the mind is that Queens Sports Club, a venue that has hosted a number of international matches, is all of a sudden said to be unsuitable for international games. What has changed? Why is it no longer important to share international games between Harare and Bulawayo? The new board members are of the view that the new chairman will lobby for the spreading of international matches,” said the source.
The 13-member board is made up of seven provincial chairpersons: William Chaitezvi of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East’s Wonder Chisango, Enock Ikope of Harare, Boniface Machuwaire (Masvingo), Arthur Maphosa from Matabeleland South, Vumindaba Moyo from Bulawayo and Fiona Ndlovu of Matabeleland North.
Seven provincial representatives then elected six people, Lincoln Bhila, Elisha Kandi, Maureen Kuchocha, Sylvester Matshaka, Mainos Mudukuti and Mukuhlani into the board based on their specialist skills.
ZC spokesman Lovemore Banda said Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Midlands chairpersons didn’t meet requirements to be considered for the board slots reserved for provinces.
He said save for Mukuhlani, the other five from the six members voted in by the provincial chairpersons, served in the previous ZC board.