The Central Region match-fixing expose has rumbled on for the last three weeks, but matters came to a head on Wednesday when two Zifa board members were fingered in the corruption scam.
Samukeliso Silengane, the former chairperson of the referees’ committee, Southern Region representative Cosmas Nyoni and Central Region representative Cedric Raisi were suspended by Zifa first vice-president Ndumiso Gumede after a meeting last week.
Nyoni then “spilled the beans” and implicated Southern and Central Region chairpersons Gift Banda and Patrick Hokonya respectively in the scandal and the Zifa Board now wants them suspended pending investigations.
But that has not helped matters either as Banda and Hokonya believe the law, or the rules of the game, are being applied selectively starting with the Asiagate report.
Their bone of contention is that Kenny Marange, Solomon Mugavazi and Methembe Ndlovu were suspended from the board for allegedly taking part in the Asia match-fixing scandal and will appear before an ethics committee to clear their names.
So, as Banda and Hokonya see it, if people are suspended pending investigations, then Zifa president Cuthbert Dube must step aside as well. He is accused of buying his way to the top office in local football and should then now apply the law to himself and say: “I will step aside for now to allow investigations into the March 2010 elections to take place.”
That is very simple, Mr Dube, we presume. Or it seems simple when it applies to others not you?
There is no proof that Dube paid his way to the top in as much as there is no proof that games were fixed in the Central Region because the key figure there, Nyoni, has three different statements.
Perhaps, there is also no need for bogus supporters’ organisations to call for the suspension of Banda and Hokonya based on allegations while at the same time ignoring allegations against Dube.
Everyone must stand equal before the law, unless there is something this supporters’ organisation is getting from Zifa that the nation is not aware of.
As things stand now, Zifa is sitting on a time bomb and there are likely to be a series of damaging revelations in the near future that will make Asiagate look like child’s play.
The major problem has been intimidation of board members – a disease inherited from the previous administration, but now it seems some board members have cast fear aside and are prepared to defend the game of football.
Banda’s letter to Dube yesterday reads in part: “We must not suspend officers to please the public when there is going to be serious litigation problems. We already have been affected by this selective application of the law. If this modus operandi persists, there will be no Zifa Board, electorate and other organs to talk about.
“It might as well mean suspending, with all due respect, you Mr President, on allegations of vote buying for which witnesses are prepared to come up and present evidence on the allegations. It is at this turning point that those leaving in glass houses have been throwing stones.”
A time bomb, indeed, Mr Dube!