When it rains, it pours. The old adage rings true in the case of Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa after the association’s former chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze came out guns blazing, accusing the beleaguered boss of running local football to the ground, at the same time warning the Zifa congress against re-electing the controversial businessman during next year’s elections.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Mashingaidze, who served as Zifa general secretary from 2004 to 2016, made the claims in a damning 13-page document titled The current sad state of Zimbabwean football, which was copied to all Zifa councillors who make up the electoral college, world football governing body Fifa, Sports minister Kazembe Kazembe and the Sports and Recreation Commission.
The former football administrator confirmed to Standardsport yesterday that he had indeed authored the document where he describes the Chiyangwa-led executive committee as “a demonic leadership possessed with greed, cruelty, self-aggrandisement, vanity and being the only centre of football in Zimbabwe.”
“Yes, I can confirm that I authored that document after consultations with various football stakeholders. I, alongside Mr Twine Phiri and Mrs Daisy Rusere, travelled to Botswana to see the Fifa regional representative Archford Mamelodi on the allegations that are contained in that document,” he said.
“We will also be meeting the new minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe, special advisor to the president Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac), Fifa and the relevant parliamentary portfolio committee this month and in January to save our football.”
He said the document that Standardsport is in possession of was an attempt to shed light on the “tragedy that has befallen our game as a result of corruption, mis-management, incompetency, selfishness, patronage and downright greed.”
The former Zifa general secretary, who worked with Chiyangwa until his contract was not renewed in April last year, said Chiyangwa allegedly used dirty tricks to win the elections that ushered him into office in December 2015.
“The elections were a big sham as day light bribery and vote-buying preceded the December 2015 polls. A dossier on how the Fifa and Zifa electoral codes were violated by some individuals in order to influence the outcome of the polls has since been put together with preliminary documentation sent to the Sports and Recreation Commission, Confederation of African Football, and Fifa in 2016,” he said in the report.
“The Fifa Ethics Committee is being engaged to deal decisively with the scandal. A team of credible witnesses is already in place and they are ready to appear before any tribunal and the Fifa Ethics Committee, to name and shame the individuals who are not eligible to hold any position in football in terms of the Zifa constitution Article 32, who are currently running Zifa and Cosafa.”
Mashingaidze took a swipe at the Zifa congress members for not challenging the current leadership while the association was allegedly being stripped of its assets by Chiyangwa and his associates, as it has since emerged that some of the association’s properties are now in the names of his associates.
“It must be brought to your attention, dear colleagues that an accomplice in the commission of a crime is as culpable as the perpetrator of the heinous act… You have watched, either in blissful ignorance or shameless complicity, Zimbabwean football being reduced to some village dug-out by football administration midgets upstarts and opportunists,” he said.
“Your last two years in office end on March 31 2018 and beyond that, Zimbabweans shall remember some of you as the men and women who could not see, hear or speak evil of the madness that has dragged our football into a dark abyss. You have allowed self-serving individuals to mortgage the future of Zimbabwean football by not playing your statutory role of giving strategic guidance to our game.”
“In the absence of the Zifa congress’s stewardship, the Zifa executive committee got off the hook and went on a flagrant violation of the Zifa constitution and corporate governance principles with reckless abandon, leaving our game in this current mess. Never in the history of the game have we had one individual and his hangers on, defile our game to the extent that Zifa has been turned into a personal fiefdom,” he said.
Mashingaidze said the upcoming Zifa annual general meeting, which has been scheduled for December 16 in Harare, was illegal as 60 days due notice was not given, adding that it was an attempt by the current leadership to entrench their positions at the local football governing body.
“It is saddening to note that 58 men and women have been invited to an illegal gathering on December 16 by individuals out to entrench their positions in football and none of you has dared to raise the red flag. Article 26 (2) of the Zifa constitution is explicit on how an annual general meeting of Zifa is duly convened.
“The executive committee shall fix the place and date. The members shall be notified in writing at least 60 days in advance”.
Mashingaidze said Chiyangwa only issued the notice of an AGM on November 22, a day after he together with former Zifa accountant Fabian Venganayi had written to Zaac, urging the anti-graft body to investigate the latter over alleged corrupt activities.
“The beleaguered Zifa executive committee only issued some notice of an AGM on November 22 2017 after issues of mismanagement and corruption had been raised in a report we sent to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on November 21 2017.
“As you troop into Harare next week, let it dawn on you that football shall hold some of you responsible for the game’s meteoric plunge into the depths of a dungeon of confusion and corruption. The millions of fans, valued sponsors, up and coming players, former employees, former players, former administrators, creditors and the generality of Zimbabweans shall hold you accountable for all the wrong things that have been associated with our game ever since the arrival of the current football leadership. We are aware of some of you who have a history of bribe taking and Zimbabwe is watching you.”
The document focuses on points that include transition, the 2015 elections, handover takeover, Nafaz project and dissolution of Zifa, failure of service creditors, collapse of governance pillars, violation of football statutes, relocation of Zifa offices, constitutional reforms, plundering of Zifa assets and grants, respect for Zifa constitution, standing committees, audits, Zifa staff, creditors, accountability, general secretariat, dissolution of Zifa and the birth of Nafaz on June 4 2016. – Standard