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Zifa chaos

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In a latest development set to further prolong the crowning of the Central Region champions, Division One Tripple B Football Club have written to Zifa contesting the composition of the Appeals Committee sitting for Hardbody’s appeal.

Hardbody were last month found guilty of fraudulently registering a player and docked 42 points, but have appealed against the decision.

Tripple B on Tuesday wrote to Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze requesting setting up of a new appeals committee after questioning the legitimacy of the current committee.

The Beitbridge side also made stunning revelations about the committee’s chairman Ralph Maganga — whom they allege is related to Hardbody director Takesure Sibanda and had helped the Gweru club file the appeal.

Efforts to seek a comment from Maganga yesterday were fruitless.

Sibanda was found guilty of attempted bribery by the Central Region disciplinary committee and fined $800.

In a letter dated December 6 2011, Tripple B secretary-general Gibson Makhanda asked Maganga to recuse himself from the committee which has Timothy Sangarwe as secretary.

The club is arguing the current composition compromises partiality and would not yield any justice.

“In terms of Section 7 of Zifa Rules and Regulations, Tripple B FC has on good authority that the appeal favoured by your office was drafted by Maganga who happens to be related to Takesure Sibanda who is the owner of Hardbody FC,” wrote Makhanda.

“Maganga has a direct influence on the Appeals Committee Board comprising of (Tererai) Gunje and T Sangarwe. It is our humble request that standing Appeal Committee be substituted for there are several glaring irregularities that they have waived.

“Tripple B FC strongly believe there shall be no justice if this committee proceeds on the matter. May we be favoured with the names of new impartial and untainted Appeals Committee?”

The appeal case failed to kick off last Friday after Tripple B asked to be given ample time to study Hardbody’s head of arguments.

The case has sparked a match-fixing scam that has seen the suspension of Central Region chairman Patrick Hokonya and his Southern Region counterpart Gift Banda.

Former acting referees committee chairperson Samkeliso Silengani has also been suspended for her involvement in appointing referees to handle Central Region matches, alongside Southern Region representative Cosmas Nyoni and his Central Region counterpart Cedric Raisi.

Hokonya and Banda yesterday said they were not responding to their suspensions from the football mother body as they have not received official correspondence of the action against them.

The two were suspended from the board on allegations of match-fixing that have rocked the Zifa Central Region, bringing to five the number of board members suspended this year on similar allegations.

Other members that have been shown the Zifa door, pending investigations into match-fixing claims following their connection to the Asiagate scandal, are Methembe Ndlovu, Solomon Mugavazi and Kenny Marange.

Hokonya and Banda were suspended after a report by acting Zifa Referees Committee chairperson Ndumiso Gumede that was tabled during a meeting held on Wednesday night.

“What I hear is that no names were mentioned during the meeting and the report does not mention any names, but I am not going to respond to the suspension before I get the official letter of suspension,” Hokonya said.

Banda also said it was too early to make a response.

Match officials who implicated Hokonya and Banda allege they were told some football “elders” wanted the results of some matches in the Central Region.

One of the matches involved referee Albert Mbuse and events leading to Hokonya and Banda’s suspension are allegedly contained in secretly recorded mobile conversations and written submissions.

Banda has since filed criminal defamation charges with the police against Nyoni while Silengane has, through her lawyers, challenged her suspension of November 19, saying the action was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Eastern Region chairman Fungai Chihuri has threatened to quit the Zifa Board, claiming his name has been soiled by recent happenings, sources said.

Chihuri is the only regional chairperson left in office after the suspension of Gift Banda (Southern), Solomon Mugavazi (Northern) and Patrick Hokonya (Central). Five board members have been suspended since Dube came into office.

Chihuri, though, is a close ally of Dube from the time when the Zifa president owned Buymore Football Club.

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