By Wellington Toni
WORLD football governing body have said they will be sending a delegation of observers to the Zifa elections that are set to take
place in Harare on December 16, putting to rest on what has been a long running soap opera in Zimbabwean football.
The elections were due to be held on December 1, but were called off after Zifa had attempted to bar the trio of Felton Kamambo, Gift Banda and Mlungisi Moyo from the elections, alleging irregularities that were never explained.
But the trio fought back and were allowed to contest following the intervention of Fifa.
However, Zifa, against the dictates of the constitution decided to divide the elections into two-starting with the executive committee
members on December 1 followed by those of the president and vice president on December 15.
That failed again, and a new date, December 16, was then put in place, which has now been approved by Fifa.
Said Fifa: “Fifa is monitoring the situation in relation to the Zifa elections and will deploy a delegation to observe the elective congress on 16 December 2018.”
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa faces Kamambo, while his deputy Omega Sibanda faces the challenge of Bulawayo businessman Gift Banda.
Initially both Chiyangwa and Sibanda have been retained unopposed as Kamambo and Banda were barred, but the Zifa Appeals Committee committed the ultimate boob when they failed to call the duo for a hearing to hear their heads of arguments.
Instead the appeals committee proceeded to rubber stamp a decision taken by the Vusi Vuma-led electoral committee that had barred Banda and Kamambo.
That, despite total silence from Caf, the Sports and Recreation and the Ministry of Sport, caught the attention of Fifa who ordered that the duo, plus Moyo, be allowed to contest the elections.
Further, Zifa in violation of their own statutes had not provided the list of delegates, the agenda and the audited financial statements of the association to the Congress and election participants 15 days prior to the elections, leading to the new date.
Bryton Malandule, Moyo, Chamu Chiwanza, Stanley Chapeta, Sugar Chagonda and incumbent Phillimon Machana will be vying for the four executive committee posts.
Public relations expert Barry Manandi pulled out of the elections, alleging massive violation of the rules and regulations that govern
the conduct of elections.
“I would like to formally advise the electoral committee of my withdrawal as a candidate in these elections on the following grounds;
there was no notification from you that my candidature had been successfully verified as requested by article 11.2 of the Zifa
electoral code. Instead, I found out about my candidature through social media. To this day, I have received no formal communication
about anything related to the election that is scheduled to take place on December 1.
“According to article 12 of the Zifa Electoral Code, ‘the final list of candidates shall be sent to all members of the Zifa congress and where necessary, to the relevant government bodies no less than 15 days before the elective Zifa congress’. At this stage, we are three
days from the elective congress and a final list of candidates was only seen, on social media, on the 27th of November.”
“In spite of our best intentions, the aforementioned, albeit not exhaustive, in terms of the ills of this election, leave us in substantial discomfort and doubt of the veracity of this process and the chances of the rest of the election being one that can stand up to any conventional norms and standards of credibility. With all this, and more, as well documented in media reports around this election, we
opt out,” he wrote to Vuma last week.