Ethics Committee will be independent — Zifa

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Zifa, still to name an ethics committee to deal with the Asiagate matchfixing saga, have insisted that the six-member body would be independent from the national football association.

The committee, which was set to be announced on Tuesday, but could still be done before the end of the week, would be made up of three football personalities, a retired judge, lawyer and senior police officer.

There have been reports that the delay in commissioning the committee was due to the fact some of the intended members had turned down Zifa’s invitation due a “flawed” report to be used.

The two reports on the matchfixing scandal were produced by a four-member team led by Zifa first vice-president Ndumiso Gumede, Eastern Region boss Fungai Chihuri, board members finance and competitions Elliot Kasu and Benedict Moyo respectively.

Sources say some of the information in the report, which has been refuted by some fingered people like player agent Kudzi Shaba, players Method Mwanjali and Nyasha Mushekwi and former Premier Soccer League fixtures secretary Godfrey Japajapa, is not the true record of the interviews conducted.

Some have also questioned the omission of some key people like Bheki Nyoni, the chairman of the soccer coaches’ association.

Last Friday, the board suspended three board members, Solomon Mugavazi (Northern Region chairman), Methembe Ndlovu (board member development), and second vice-president Kenny Marange.

But yesterday, Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze poured cold water on the delays in unveiling the ethics committee.

“There is nothing like that at all. The delays have been caused by the fact that this is not an ordinary committee, it’s a special body and wide-ranging consultations have to be carried out before they can be unveiled.

“Remember, we are talking about people of integrity here, a senior police officer, a judge and a lawyer and football people.

“It must also be noted that the committee would be completely independent of the Zifa Board as having any member of the board there would compromise the impartiality of the committee.

“Even the Fifa statutes clearly state that there are only three judicial bodies, disciplinary, ethics and appeals, and no member of the executive or standing committee can sit in that body, it has to be independent,” Mashingaidze said.

The Zifa standing committee on ethics and fair play is chaired by Southern Region chairman Gift Banda.

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 4-0 and 1-0 scorelines.

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

Along with Masimba Chihowa, Cosmas Nyoni and Christopher Manuel, who was the fourth official, they were allegedly 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 Zifa CEO Henrietta Rushwaya and only shared among themselves the remainder.

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

“This committee will be commissioned as soon as possible, perhaps on Friday or next week, do their job and be decommissioned by the end of October.”

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube leaves for Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday for a Confederation of African Football standing committee meeting on youth football and is only due back next Wednesday.

This means if the committee is not revealed on Thursday, it will be next Friday.