Zifa president Cuthbert Dube completed a double on Wednesday night when he suspended two regional bosses — Gift Banda and Patrick Hokonya on allegations of match-fixing in the Central Region.
He scored the opener when he suspended his vice-president Kenny Marange, Northern Region chairman Solomon Mugavazi and board member (development) Methembe Ndlovu for their alleged involvement in the Asiagate match -fixing scandal.
Dube might as well complete a hat-trick if he deals with Twine Phiri, the Premier Soccer League chairman and board member (marketing) Nigel Munyati who stand accused of failing to remit 15% of transfer fees of players they exported to South Africa.
On Wednesday, Dube fought off efforts from Banda and Hokonya to have his issue of allegedly buying votes/bribery for his election to the top office dropped.
These accusations stem from various meetings held at a local training centre in Harare ahead of elections, some of which were chaired by a current board member.
The matter of Dube on the agenda on Wednesday went to vote and the Zifa boss prevailed 5-4. Voting were Banda, Hokonya, Eastern Region boss Fungai Chihuri, women football boss Mavis Gumbo, Elliot Kasu, Phiri, Saidi Sangula, Ndumiso Gumede and Benedict Moyo — who had flown in from Botswana for the meeting.
Munyati abstained from voting. Dube only votes when there is a tie and chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, who had vehemently protested at putting the allegations against Dube into the agenda, does not vote.
Given the scenario, there was no way Banda and Hokonya could have survived the night. Based on a report by referees’ committee chairperson Gumede, the duo was eventually suspended.
The duo was asked to leave the meeting and upon returning, they learnt their fate — the same way Ndlovu, Mugavazi and Marange were dealt with.
This is Dube’s statement: “Following the submission of a report to the Zifa Board by the Referees Committee on allegations of match-fixing in the Central Region implicating the two Zifa Board members namely Messrs Gift Banda and Patrick Hokonya, the Board at a meeting held on Wednesday 7 December 2011, resolved that the allegations be investigated.
In keeping, with the Zifa Constitution Article 31:10, the two Zifa Board Members are suspended with immediate effect, pending finalisation of the matter.”
With Banda and Hokonya out of the picture, issues to do with Dube have been put to rest unless the pair seeks an urgent court order against their suspension ahead of the last board meeting of the year.