HARARE City chairman Leslie Gwindi, who was last month slapped with an effective two-year ban from football after being convicted of bringing the game into disrepute, has appealed against the ruling, arguing it was biased and compromised in favour of Zifa in order to please its president Cuthbert Dube.
Gwindi was slapped with a five-year ban following allegations that his public utterances denigrated Premier Soccer League (PSL) bankrollers Delta Beverages’ sponsorship package for the top-flight body.
“The whole purported committee was biased, compromised in the sense that they were all on Dube’s payroll since Zifa could not afford to pay them, hence the committee exhibited gross bias in favour of Zifa simply to please Dube at the expense of justice,” Gwindi said in his appeal papers.
The former Dynamos and PSL secretary-general further said he was not properly brought before “the so-called disciplinary committee” in that he was never furnished with the details in writing of such a charge within seven days of the offence having taken place neither was he given an opportunity to respond within seven days of receipt of the said charge.
In an appeal to the Zifa Appeals Committee, through his lawyers Chinyama and Partners Legal Practitioners, Gwindi argued that the disciplinary board “purportedly” constituted to deliberate over his matter fell foul of article 54.2 as read with article 54.3 of the Zifa constitution.
Gwindi said the presiding board derived its authority from Zifa Rules and Regulations contrary to the Zifa constitution which compels it to derive its authority from the Zifa Disciplinary Code.
The Harare City boss also argued that the disciplinary committee was not properly constituted in that one of the committee members, Wilfred Mukuna, also sat on or belonged to another Zifa board, namely the Grounds Committee and the Referees’ Committee, thereby making the whole disciplinary board fall foul of article 54.4 of the body’s constitution.
“Further the disciplinary committee did not meet the peremptory criteria laid out in article 55.1 as read with 55.2 of the Zifa constitution in that, instead of consisting of having a chairman and a deputy chairman with compulsory legal qualifications, the committee only consisted of a chairman lamentably with a legal background, but no legal qualification . . . to the extent that the whole disciplinary exercise was nothing, but an exercise in futility,” Gwindi said.
Gwindi further argued that assuming the disciplinary committee sat as an ad-hoc committee, it also fell foul of article 51 of the Zifa constitution since the Zifa executive committee never met to pass a resolution creating such an ad-hoc committee for such duties and for a limited space of time.
“Further, the purported committee fell into error by dismissing the objection based on jurisdiction in a matter where no resolution was passed by the PSL assembly referring the matter to Zifa in terms of its own regulations,” Gwindi said.