Admire Masenda re-elected as ZOC president

By Duncan Mackay, 28 April 2013

Admire Masenda has been re-elected as President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) after beating challenger Thabani Gonye by 22 votes to 14 at the General Assembly in Harare.

It will be Masenda’s third term having taken over from Paul Chingoka in 2006. “Well I am grateful, I think it shows there is some good work we are doing as an organisation and some good work we are doing as a Board for the General Assembly to have re-elected me for the third term of office,” said¬†Masenda, the former President of the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe.

He claimed that his main objective would be to raise the standard of sport in the southern African country. Zimbabwe took a team of only seven athletes, competing in four sports, to London 2012, their smallest ever squad since they made their Olympic debut at Moscow in 1980. They also failed to claim their first medal since Sydney 2000, although all seven medals won at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 had been earned by swimmer Kirsty Coventry.

Kirsty Coventry, with seven Olympic medals, including two gold, at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 had single-handedly kept up Zimbabwe’s sporting prestige “We will try and host what we call a forum or an indaba [Zulu for conference] to discuss where we involve all the sporting associations to try and agree on what is required to move sport in this country forward,” said Masenda.

“Right now our fortunes across the board have been dwindling. “I mean we are not doing well as we were doing 10-15 years ago be at the All-Africa Games or the Olympics. “So the question we need to look at as we sit together with the associations and various stakeholders is what are the critical things we need to do to move sport forward?”

Gonye, the secretary of Athletics Zimbabwe, had the consolation of being elected one of the ZOC’s two vice-presidents, along with Busi Chindove who retained her post. Gonye takes over from Brian Warren who resigned from the ZOC after 15 years. George Nachamba takes over the post of treasurer from Gonye as he got 26 votes against Godfrey Sunguro’s 10 votes.