Susoended ZIFA board reinstated

ZIFA President Felton Kamambo (Lovejoy Mutongwiza/263Chat)
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THE Sports and Recreation Commission have lifted the suspension of members of the ZIFA board as part of the on-going process to institute reforms needed to bring back normalcy to the domestic football landscape.

The sports regulator yesterday announced that they have lifted the suspensions of Barbara Chikosi and Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda.

The Sports Commission also upheld the resolution made at the recent ZIFA Extraordinary General Meeting to elevate ZIFA vice-president Gift Banda to the position of interim president.

Banda was installed by the ZIFA Congress to fill the void created by the departure of Kamambo after the ZIFA councillors revoked the mandate of the Harare executive and two of his board members — Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule.

The ZIFA board led by Kamambo was suspended by the Sports Commission in November last year and their efforts to seek reinstatement through the Administrative Court hit the brick wall. ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse was also given the axe for gross incompetence.

“The SRC hereby advises the public that following the outcome of the ZIFA extraordinary general congress held on 23 April, 2022, and the subsequent dismissal, with costs, of the appeals of Messrs Mamutse, Kamambo, Malandule and Machana against their suspension by the SRC by the Administrative Court, the commission has resolved that:

“(i) That the suspensions of Mrs Barbara Chikosi and Messrs Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda, have been lifted with immediate effect.

“(ii) That the reinstatement of Hon Gift Banda as ZIFA vice-president, by the ZIFA Congress during its EGM at its extraordinary general congress of 23 April, 2022, has been noted — Hon Banda was never the subject of any suspension from the SRC.

“(iii) That the appointment of Hon Gift Banda as interim president of ZIFA by the ZIFA Congress during its EGM aforesaid, is duly noted.

“The lifting of the suspensions is based on specific undertakings given to the SRC by members of the ZIFA delegation in their meeting of 29 April, 2022 with the board of commissioners.

“Those undertakings have been reduced to writing and constitute an elaboration of a roadmap, previously made available to the SRC by FIFA on 6 December, 2021,” said the Sports and Recreation Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa in a statement yesterday.

The ZIFA board led by Kamambo was suspended last year facing allegations that included failure to account for public funds, poor governance, bribery and sexual harassment of female referees, among others.

The Sports Commission said they were forced to take the extreme route in order to bring sanity to football administration. Local football had suffered years of deterioration and poor management.

The Sports Commission have since set up a Restructuring Committee led by Blessing Rugara.  The nine-member committee is undertaking matters of a strategic nature, as outlined in their terms of reference, in line with the provisions of Section 21, 19(b), and 20 (c) of the SRC Act.

The committee’s term of office will run up to December 2022.

They have since begun rolling out their corrective measures that include a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process where they are discussing what they consider pertinent issues and also football development with several stakeholders.

The committee has also engaged BDO Chartered Accountants to conduct a forensic audit at 53 Livingstone Avenue.

The latest position taken by SRC was a result of a series of closed door meetings that have been held in the last few weeks with ZIFA to find solutions to the administrative problems and the impasse between the parties.

“The SRC board committee on ZIFA Restructuring is at a point where certain of its recommendations require to be placed before ZIFA formally.

“The lifting of the ZIFA suspension will aid in this important process, particularly in regard to implementation of key reforms.

“BDO Chartered Accountants have commenced their forensic audit into the financial and operational affairs of ZIFA. Their findings will be made public. The SRC has directed ZIFA to inform FIFA and CAF of these developments,” said Mlotshwa.

ZIFA is currently under FIFA suspension after the world football governing body ruled that the suspension of the board led by Kamambo last November constituted “third party interference”. – Herald