Long wait for Zifa Ethics Committee

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The Ethics Committee to deal with the Asiagate match-fixing scandal will only be put in place when Zifa president Cuthbert Dube returns from Cairo, Egypt, where he is attending the Confederation of African Football (Caf) meetings on youth competitions.

Dube, according to the Caf itinerary on the meetings, attended the first session of the organising committee of the Under-20 championship from 1430hrs to 1700hrs. He is a member of that committee.

The second session on the Under-17 championship ran from 1730hrs to 2000hrs.

Dube was then scheduled to fly back to finalise the committee which would then be announced between tomorrow and Friday.

The committee was supposed to be announced last week, but Zifa said some of the intended targets of the six-man body were out of the country and further consultations were needed.

The national association was also grappling with whether to let Gift Banda, the Southern Region chairman and chairman of the Ethics and Fair Play Committee, lead the team while another school of thought suggested that the body be independent of Zifa.

A resolution had been made in the last board meeting to have Banda and two other board members in the committee, a situation that would have contravened Fifa rules and regulations.

The latter thought, to have an independent committee, seemed to prevail with chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze explaining last week that Fifa statutes do not allow any member of a standing committee to stand in a body meant to try its own members.

Three Zifa board members Solomon Mugavazi, the Northern Region chairman, Methembe Ndlovu, the board member development and second vice-president Kenny Marange, have been suspended from all football activities until cleared or otherwise by the proposed Ethics Committee.

Mugavazi has, in the interim, been replaced by Saidi Sangula, Ndlovu by Benedict Moyo, who is also board member (competitions) and Marange by Ndumiso Gumede, the first vice-president.

“It must 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 committee is expected to interview 88 officials, including a number of coaches by the end of October, after which it will be decommissioned.

Charges against Mugavazi arose when he led his Monomotapa side on a trip to Malaysia in 2008 where they masqueraded as the Warriors in an international friendly match which was later stripped of 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.

Marange 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 four faced problems there, and they had to sneak back into the country.
They were forced to hand over $20 000 to the then Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya and only shared the remainder among themselves.

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

Marange and Ndlovu have said they will use the opportunity to clear their names and set the record straight.

Fifa chief security officer Chris Eaton is still expected in the country to meet Zifa, the Ethics
Committee, the Sports and Recreation Commission and the police in a bid to bring the matter to finality.