Centre for Statistical Excellence and Research executive Director Kingsley Chinyama says the standards of sports in Zambia have tremendously dwindled due to misappropriation of funds and administrative mismanagement.
Chinyama has since called on government to institute a commission of inquiry on the operation of the National Olympic Committee and the National Sports Council of Zambia to ascertain the level of abuse of funds in the sports fraternity.
In a statement to News Diggers! in Lusaka, Sunday, Chinyama attributed poor performance by Zambian athletes at international tournaments to maladministration of sports bodies.
“As a research institution, we have taken keen interest in conducting a research on sport in Zambia, how it’s being administered and the relationship between managers and Athletes
through our Sports committee. Our findings do show that there is a lot of administrative mismanagement hence the reason why the standard of sport continue dwindling instead of improving. Sport is a viable and vital economic sector that once well managed, it can greatly and positively contribute to the country’s GDP. Lack of transparency, accountability and failure to observe the governance tools by those in sport administration have been the main source of concerns. Zambia has continued failing to reap medals in international events or championships basically because of poor management starting from various sports associations to the supreme bodies such as National Olympic Committee of Zambia and National Sports Council of Zambia,” Chinyama stated.
He stated that Zambia had continuously sent unprepared athletes to international events because management paid little attention to their plight.
“As a country we have continued sending unbaked Athletes to represent Zambia at Top Class events such as All Africa Games (AAG), Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Olympic Games
(OG), AU Regional 5 Youth Games and Commonwealth Games. According to our findings, sports administrators are more interested in allowances and flying around than athletes’ preparation. Athletes do not have time to prepare and getting exposed. Many times, these athletes are not selected on merit but on the basis of the relationship a sports association and those entrusted with powers to run bodies such as National Olympic Committee and National Sports Council of Zambia. All correspondence should be addressed to the executive director
Our research indicators clearly show that huge sums of moneys do not go towards the plight of the athletes, but it goes to particular individuals who have made sure that they are always in control of these institutions,” he stated.
“We have had conducted several interviews with athletes and some Sports Administrators. The outcome has been overwhelming and compelling for urgent investigations by the Law Enforcement Agencies to ascertain who the main culprits in this scam that has been going on for decades. One good example is the financial scandals at OYDC that has been going on for long and no one is paying attention to that and surprisingly even the Ministry of Youth and Sport never taken keen interest. Institutions such as the National Olympic Committee of Zambia and National Sports Council of Zambia have only been seen to be travel shops as they haven’t paid much attention towards sport development in the country as that can be proved by the kind of athletes they took to Australia for Commonwealth Games.”
Chinyama charged that the National Olympic Committee of Zambia took only six deserving participants to the Commonwealth games when the delegation had 44 members.
“However, they carried athletes that never qualified for the event to represent Zambia at the Top Class event. For example, the deserving athletes to compete in the 4×400 and 4×100
Relay Teams from ZAAA( an addition of 2 athletes with qualifying times in relay) including Kennedy Luchembe who had qualified more than a month before the games apparently did not meet the National Olympic Committee of Zambia criteria of acceptance, even athletes with VISAS could not go, but they opted to get more officials than athletes, out of 44 delegates only 6 were active athletes. Zambia has continued losing huge sums of money through fruitless outing. As a research institution we therefore, recommend that a Commission of inquiry be established to find out the happenings in the sporting fraternity basing the “Terms of Reference” on Commonwealth games outing,” stated Chinyama.