The Zifa Assembly will on Saturday hold its first meeting since Cuthbert Dube assumed power in March this year and a lot is expected from the congregation, chief among them the match-fixing allegations which resulted in former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya losing her job.
The million- dollar question is:
Will the assembly come out with independent, resolute decisions or it will be just another talk show where members behave like parrots in unison with their seemingly indecisive leader Dube?
Saturday’s meeting comes after the Zifa board meeting yesterday which was expected to endorse the dismissal of Rushwaya while simultaneously trying to mend the rifts characterising the board as a result of the investigations into the various Asia trips.
Dube could not be reached for a comment by the time of going to press as the board was in a marathon meeting.
But Rushwaya was clearly the talking point in the board, along with the fate of players who were implicated as having received money from betting syndicates in Asia.
Fifa have told Zifa that they should come down heavily on implicated players and officials but the local football governing body is seeking to exonerate some players in an amnesty.
Apart from Rushwaya, Zifa vice- president Kenny Marange, board member (development) Methembe Ndlovu and Northern Region Division One chairman Solomon Mugavazi have been fingered in the match-fixing allegations.
Marange is being accused of receiving $24 000 from the syndicates after he handled a match in Asia, $20 000 of which was allegedly surrendered to Rushwaya while Ndlovu travelled with the national team to the same continent. Mugavazi went with his team, Monomotapa, and posed as a national team.
Rushwaya, the first female Zifa chief executive, was last week found guilty of mismanagement and insubordination by a tribunal headed by Labour Court lawyer Custom Kachambwa on six charges which excluded the much-hyped match-fixing and betting allegations which led to her suspension on July27.
The Kachambwa committee found Rushwaya guilty of: playing a key role in the Warriors’ unsanctioned trip to Thailand and Malaysia in December last year; authorising Monomotapa’s trip to Malaysia in which the 2008 Premiership champions masqueraded as the Warriors; and causing the attachment of Zifa property after failing to deal with a debt to Pandhari Lodge, thereby causing embarrassment to the Zifa board and the association.
She was further accused of applying for a loan of $103 000 from the Sports and Recreation Commission without the authority of the board and that to date she has not accounted for the money, promising the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee $38 000 without authority from the board to commit funds from the Fifa financial assistance programme for the Under-15 team to the Youth Olympic Games; and failing to implement a board resolution of June 21 2010 to effect change of signatories to the Zifa bank accounts.
Rushwaya was, however, found not guilty on charges that she unilaterally entered into an agreement with Swiss-based match agents Kentaro AG to surrender the rights of the high-profile international friendly match between the Warriors and Brazil’s World Cup-bound team at the National Sports Stadium in June.
Zifa, according to their lawyer Ralph Maganga, had found Rushwaya not guilty on charges of failing to submit to the board monthly activity reports from the association’s affiliates.
She was also absolved of blame on allegations that she failed to register vehicles donated to Zifa by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2008.Zifa also withdrew charges that Rushwaya had failed to implement a board resolution that she should institute disciplinary proceedings against suspended programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana.