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‘Police milking Zifa’


Parliament might investigate issues to do with hefty charges by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to provide security at football matches, after allegations by Zifa that their charges were milking the domestic football governing body.

Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and asked Parliament to intervene as the ZRP were overcharging them for their security services during matches.

“The police gave us a list stipulating amounts that have to be paid to different ranks of policemen if there is a football match at the stadium for their security services, and they charge per hour,” said Mashingaidze.

“We open our gates from 10 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock and you can see for yourselves the amount we have to pay the police at pitch,” he said.

Mashingaidze told the committee that complicating the whole issue was that attendance by the police was “rank heavy” and the majority of those who attended did not even provide security for the match.

“We want to see a lot of constables because they are the ones who provide security at the matches. At the end of the day, this puts a lot of constraints,” he said.

He said as an example, the Cosafa Women’s tournament raised $39 000 for Zifa and the police demanded $23 000.

“At the end of the day, we want to pay match officials and everyone, but the police will be the first ones to come and demand their payment. We are so burdened and are making losses because of these levies and it is our plea for you to intervene because this is national duty,” said Mashingaidze.

Meanwhile, Zifa board chairman for finance Elliot Kasu yesterday told the same committee that the football governing body might soon unearth another scandal pertaining to anomalies in clearing players plying their trade outside Zimbabwe. He said there were close to 1 000 Zimbabwean players who were playing outside.

“We want to acknowledge that there was no database in Zifa and we have since noticed this anomaly and were surprised to realise we have thousands of players out there,” said Kasu.

“However, for a player to go outside the country he needs to be cleared by Zifa and it is also our suspicion that we are likely to unearth some other scandal in the future,” he said.

Kasu said Zifa should get 15% revenue for an individual playing outside the country.

“To curb that we have said there is no player who is going to get international clearance from the secretariat before approval through recommendations by myself and endorsement by the president of the (Zifa) board and we issue out a clearance certificate,” Kasu said.

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