THE bitter in-fighting between Zimbabwean football boss Philip Chiyangwa and the national federation’s (ZIFA) former chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze has plummeted to new depths with Mashingaidze reportedly handed a life ban after he claimed Chiyangwa was guilty of corruption.
Earlier this week, having already requested Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate claims of “corruption, fraud, misappropriation, abuse of power, misconduct and lack of good corporate governance” during the leadership of Chiyangwa – a strong ally of African football leader Ahmad Ahmad – Mashingaidze, who served as ZIFA general secretary from 2004 to 2016, issued a 13-page document in which he described the Chiyangwa-led executive committee as “a demonic leadership possessed with greed, cruelty, self-aggrandisement and vanity.”
Strong words which have now seemingly come back to haunt him, with counter-accusations that he himself was guilty of fraud during his tenure at the ZIFA secretariat, allegedly building up debts to more than $6 million and failing to account for $700 000.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association Executive Committee has sued and indefinitely banned its former general-secretary, Jonathan Mashingaidze, on charges of theft and fraudulently accruing a huge debt for ZIFA during his tenure as the head of secretariat,” a statement said.
“Apart from the life ban, Mashingaidze has been summoned to answer to a charge of theft of association funds in excess of $700 000 which the plaintiff is claiming, with interest.”
According to local reports, Mashingaidze has laughed off the punishment by the ZIFA board – which has to be rubber-stamped by a full congress hearing – as the “joke of the year” claiming the charges against him have been fabricated and threatening to further expose dirty tricks within the association.
“I haven’t received communication from those guys and I am not rushing to respond because I don’t want to dignify rank idiocy,” Zimbabwean reports quoted him as saying.