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Zifa board storm

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Losing candidates for the Southern Region chairmanship position, Omega Sibanda and Musa Mandaza want the Cuthbert Dube-led Zifa board to be dissolved because they say elections which ushered the board were “not free and fair”.

Sibanda and Mandaza are seeking the nullification of Southern Region and Zifa board members elections held last year and have since written to Zifa notifying the football governing body of their intentions to go to court because they think the March 27 2010 elections were “not free and fair”.

In a letter dated August 23 2011 through their Bulawayo lawyers addressed to Zifa, Sibanda and Mandaza are arguing the election of incumbent Southern Region chairman Gift Banda was flawed and subsequently the March 27 polls which ushered Dube and his colleagues must be declared null and void.

They argued that Banda was seconded by former Premier Soccer League club Njube Sundowns whose status as a member of Southern Region Division One was still under review and that Banda’s vote at the national elections should be disregarded.

The papers read: “Our clients want these elections to be declared null and void and an order made for re-election. Further, that the posts of Zifa president, board members competitions, finance, development, the two vice-presidents, be declared vacant and their election declared null and void and a further order made for re-elections.

“Our clients have gathered that the Zifa board has set up a committee chaired by a Mr Muzawazi to determine the status of Njube Sundowns arising from the 2010 play-offs. It follows, therefore, that Njube Sundowns FC which nominated Mr G
Banda was not supposed to participate in the Southern Region elections before its status, which is now being deliberated on, had been determined. And by extension Mr Banda should not have participated in the Zifa elections which gave birth to the current board.”

Sibanda and Mandaza further argued that even if Njube Sundowns were to be adjudged as bona fide members of Southern Region Division One, their argument still remains that Zifa elections must be declared a nullity.

“The fact that Zifa now wishes to review the status of Njube Sundowns, with respect, vindicates our clients’ long-held view that the elections were not free and fair and that they should be set aside.

“Even if it is found that Sundowns belong to the Southern Region Division One, still the issue remains that their status would only have been confirmed from the date of such finding which findings do not operate. The mere fact that persons not entitled to vote voted renders the elections a nullity as is by its very nature not capable of being cured. Kindly let us hear from you by the first of September 2011 failing which we have instructions to approach the courts for appropriate relief,” said the letter.

The board members who will be affected if this is granted are Dube, vice-presidents Kenny Marange and Ndumiso Gumede, board members Benedict Moyo (competitions), Methembe Ndlovu (development), Nigel Munyati (marketing) and Elliot Kasu (finance).

Efforts to get a comment from Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze were fruitless as he was said to be in a meeting in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

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