By Trevor Makonyonga
This past weekend saw the Victoria Falls 7s rugby tournament being played at Victoria Falls Primary School which was organized by Sean Zvitete being marred by many flaws.
The organizer seemed less sincere to communicate the program tothe teams or maybe he was overwhelmed by his role that the event was off.
Throughout the whole tournament, the match officials did not have the red and flashing cards. There was no ambulance and there were no side judges.
There was only one paramedic only identified as Kuda who was attending to injuries. It was only fortunate enough that there were no serious injuries.
Food for the players was very bad and the timing of meals was also erratic. On the first day people were given game meat without prior notice and on the second day the supper was very bad as players were given rice and potatoes.
Referees and Tag Rugby Trust officials were booked at Rest Camp whilst team managers and officials were expected to sleep with their players in classrooms
Signs of disaster started showing on Friday night, when the Harare teams and Milton High arrived. The event organizer, Sean had asked the teams from Harare to pick up his girlfriend, identified as Rati who is a student at United College of Education (UCE), to come with her for the tournament. Upon arrival, the organizers asked the teams that had arrived to come to the venue of the tourney and the teams complied.
A red flag was raised when Zvitete left the teams at the venue without ushering them or giving them a program. He had arranged accommodation for the players at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School and had promised to offer managers and other officials accommodationat Rest Camp. Since no one had been told how the program was set or when and where they were to eat, everyone ended up staying at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School.
Zvitete stopped answering calls and at one point, he seemed to have switched off his phone which frustrated the teams’ officials who had hungry and fatigued players preparing for matches the following day.
Sean had to snick into the school to collect his girlfriend and disappeared for about two hours.
From 4 pm till around 9pm there was confusion at Mosi-oa-Tunya high as no one knew what was going on until Tag Rugby Trust’s Thembalami Ncube came with food around half past 10 in the evening.
He did not stay for long as it was evident that he was not prepared to answer questions. At that time Zvitete showed up and started to explain himself. He insinuated that he did not have people to help him and apologized before he promised improvements during the tournament.
When asked by this publication to give an account of what happened, Zvitete referred this reporter to Zweli Sibanda whom he said was tournament director.
When asked about ambulance services which were not on the groundside as expected by this reporter, Sibanda said that the ambulance might not have been inside but was on call.
“We had an ambulance which is always on call and even the paramedics were available. There might have been setbacks here and there but the tournament was successful,“ he said.
There was however an interesting assessment by one official who attended who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization.
“Sean has octopus hands. He always tries to do everything alone. He should have had committees to help him organize the tourney. The guy cannot take responsibility of his actions so he always tries to find someone to cover for him,“ he said.
In another sad development, one of George “Rollo” Mukorera’s players had to be taken to hospital where she was identified to have been starving and dehydrated. The Bulawayo teams who had travelled by train and it is said they got delayed by a derailed trainduring their journey.
The players might not have eaten as much as they should have on the trip as the organizers only managed to offer bread, a slice or two of polony and juice for lunch which could not quench the extensive hunger and dehydration which the players had been subjected to.
If the tournament is to continue in years to come, drastic improvements on organization have to be made. Maybe it was a learning curve as Zweli Sibanda said.