FORMER Zimbabwe Rugby Union president John Falkenberg is in the eye of a storm amid revelations that the union tasked a company he is believed to own with providing security services during the Junior World Rugby Trophy earlier this year. By Tinashe Kusema
The move, which flies in the face of good corporate governance as it was made at time when Falkenberg was still the ZRU boss, was one of the major talking points at a Special General Meeting held in the capital recently.
Tempers flared when the JWRT financial report was tabled and it emerged that Falkenberg’s J&P Security is owed $31 143 for the security services it provided during April’s tournament.
Honorary treasurer Joseph Kunyetu was at pains to explain how ZRU settled for J&P Security as well as the security budget ballooning from the budgeted $5000 to over $31 000.
“When the tournament budget was done, the security budget was around $5000, but we were then instructed by the tournament director, from World Rugby, to increase security due to the nature of the tournament,” said Kunyetu.
“He requested that they be more mounted personnel at the training grounds, hotels and matches venue.
“There were pre-tournament budgets done prior to the JWRT and the CEO Collen De Jong, who was spearheading the review of the organizing committee and the financial protocols, said the budget for security was well within the $5000 budget.”
De Jong concurred with Kunyetu.
“Up until the start of the tournament, we were well within our budget. It was only after the tournament that we received an invoice from J&P Security telling us the total amount owed,” he said.
Kunyetu revealed that ZRU has already started servicing the debt, which he listed as a contingent liability in his report, with $ 4 580 already having been paid to J&P Security.
“We are in discussion with J&P Security, so that the outstanding balance can be settled by means of a payment plan because it went way beyond what was expected,” he said.
J&P security is a security company that deals with guarding homes, perimeter enforcements, security systems, locks, safe and money transfers and Falkenberg is listed as one its directors.
The former ZRU boss was unreachable for comment despite repeated efforts to get in touch with him on his mobile as well as his office numbers.
As debate on the financial report intensified a special committee was set up to investigate Kunyetu’s links with Idea Imaging, a company which was contracted with marketing the tournament.
Idea Imaging were paid $12 929 for their services.
Kunyetu has since recused himself to allow “proper investigations” into the matter.
Zimbabwe hosted the JWRT in April this year and Kunyetu revealed that the event was staged at a massive lose.
“Overall the tournament realised a net financial deficit of US$ 54 563.58. However, reference is made to the contingent liability note in the financial statement,” he said.