Zifa elections saga: Banda writes to Fifa

By Wellington Toni

ZIFA vice presidential aspiring candidate Gift Banda has
written to world football governing body Fifa to intervene in his
disqualification from the race.
Banda had challenged incumbent Omega Sibanda for the post of vice
presidency, but the Zifa Electoral Committee chaired by lawyer Vusi
Vuma disqualified him alleging that he was under suspension and could
therefore not participate until his rehabilitation period is over.
The elections are set for December 1.
An earlier attempt to appeal against the decision was turned down by
Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse, without even being given
an opportunity to be heard by the Appeals Committee.
And this is what has riled Banda.
In a letter dated November 5, 2018 addressed to Mamutse and copied to
Fifa, obtained by www.peoplesdaily.co.zw on Thursday, Banda wrote: “I
am in receipt of your letter dated November 5 2018 and hereby
acknowledge its contents.
“I have noted with regret that you have since usurped the mandate of
the Zifa Electoral Appeals Committee for reasons best known to
yourself. Your conduct borders on a violation of my constitutional
rights as a citizen of Zimbabwe. You have chosen to unilaterally deny
me my right to appeal against a ruling by the Zifa Electoral
Committee.
“I, by copy of this letter, hereby advise you that I am now
approaching higher offices on the one hand and the courts on the
other.”
The letter was also copied to the Minister of Sport Kirsty Coventry,
the Director General of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and
the Parliamentary Portfolio committee for sport.
Fifa though have in the past stated that they do not interfere in the
internal processes of member associations and it remains to be seen
what its secretary-general Fathma Samoura will say in response to
Banda’s letter.
Banda, a businessman and former Bulawayo deputy mayor, is also the
Member of the House of Assembly for Njube-Lobengula.
The elections have been fraught with several allegations of fraud,
malpractice and bribery where even Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa
ascended to the throne via the disqualification of his only competitor
Felton Kamambo.
Kamambo has also appealed against the decision and says he will not
his disqualification lying down.
Chiyangwa, according to media reports, used the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to carry out intergrity tests which,
ironically targeted his and Sibanda’s opponents.
Chiyangwa’s partner Chamu Chiwanza was cleared to contest despite
having no history of football management.
Surprisingly, the Zifa president has gone on to appoint Philemon
Machana,who is the current board member finance to deputise Karikoga
Kaseke in a fundraising committee for the Warriors’ Africa Cup of
Nations participants.
Machana faces elections on December 1 and what is he loses? Brighton
Malandule, Stanley Chapeta, Barry Manandi and Sugar Chagonda are some
of the aspirants cleared for the elections which now hang in the
balance.
Banda’s action comes on a day where Coventry went on Twitter to
declare that mismanagement and corruption would not see the light of
day during her tenure as minister.
“…. I won’t let corruption or mismanagement destroy our vision of
becoming an upper middle income country. It’s time for our potential
to be realised! You are going to be seeing a lot more of me now,” she
wrote.

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