Zifa defers naming Ethics Committee

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Zifa deferred the announcement of the Ethics Committee to deal with the Asiagate match-fixing scam on Tuesday as some of their targets are reportedly out of the country.

The six-man committee was expected to be commissioned by Zifa president Cuthbert Dube on Tuesday. Zifa communications officer Nicky Dhlamini-Moyo said:

“Some of the people who are supposed to be in the committee are out of the country and so the announcement will be done once Zifa is able to get all the people in one place.”

The Zifa board held a marathon meeting in Harare last Friday where it was resolved to suspend three board members suspected of having allegedly been part of the Asia match-fixing trips.

Zifa second vice-president Kenny Marange, board member (development) Methembe Ndlovu and Northern Region chairman Solomon Mugavazi were suspended from all football activities and will appear before the Ethics Committee.

Ndlovu and Marange have said they will use the suspension to clear their names while Mugavazi on Monday said he had not seen the letter of suspension.

On Tuesday, Mugavazi said he would not comment on whether he had received the letter or not, while chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze was not reachable later in the day to confirm whether he had dispatched the letters.

The Northern Region was expected to meet yesterday to discuss the implications of the Zifa decision.

Southern Region chairman Gift Banda chairs the standing committee on ethics and fair play and according to the board meeting resolution, he will chair the committee with two other members, a retired judge, lawyers and a police commissioner.

The Ethics Committee will also meet with Fifa head of security Chris Eaton, who is still expected in the country before the end of the month.

There are concerns though that an independent body was more suitable for this job, according to recommendations made by the Ndumiso Gumede-led committee that carried out the match-fixing investigations from last year and produced two reports.

They came up with a cocktail of recommendations which include:

*A disciplinary committee to be established according to Fifa statutes that is Fifa disciplinary code used

*Cases of criminal nature be handed over to the law enforcement arms of the country

*Assets acquired using proceeds from the games to be confiscated to the benefit of football development programmes

*Personnel that are not or where not under the jurisdiction of Zifa be dealt with according to Fifa disciplinary code Article 62

*Those called to appear before the disciplinary committee and decided not to avail themselves then must be dealt with according to Fifa disciplinary code Article 62

*Members of the investigating committee be exempted from being members of the disciplinary committee

*Disciplinary committee be composed of some remaining members of the Zifa board in exception of those implicated or fingered in the investigations and some selected Zifa assembly councilors
Mashingaidze has also been quoted saying the body would be independent although this is now against the Friday board meeting resolution.

Charges against Mugavazi arose when he led his Monomotapa side to a trip to Malaysia in 2008 where they masqueraded as the Warriors in an international friendly match which was later stripped off its Fifa A international status after the discovery.

Monomotapa played two matches against the Malaysian national side, losing both on a 4-0 and 1-0 score-line.

As for Marange, he is accused of officiating a fixed match in China that saw little-known Bahran thumping Togo 5-1 in 2009.

Along with Masimba Chihowa, Cosmas Nyoni and Christopher Manuel who was the fourth official, they were given $24 000 to fix the match.

However, it is reported that the quartet faced problems there and they had to sneak back into the country.

They were forced to hand over $20 000 to the then CEO Henrietta Rushwaya and only shared among themselves the remainder.

Ndlovu is accused of having led a Zimbabwe select team in an unsanctioned trip to China in 2008.