Another call to stop Zifa elections

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FORMER Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive Chris Sambo has amplified calls for the shelving of the scheduled December 5 Zifa elections, imploring Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane to intervene.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

The veteran football administrator yesterday said the upcoming Zifa elections could turn out to be the most controversial in the history of Zimbabwean football.

Makhosini-Hlongwane

He wants the elections to be stopped on the basis that the Electoral Committee is not properly constituted and that the 58 councillors who vote do not necessarily represent the views of the football-loving public.

He claimed there were allegations of bribery of councillors and called for the appointment of a “normalisation committee” to run the FA until the elections in 2018.
His remarks come after journalist Hope Chizuzu also sought to have the elections stopped on the basis that the Electoral Committee was not properly constituted. His application at the High Court was, however, thrown out on Tuesday.

Sambo said: “The composition of the nomination court has been challenged in court by journalist Hope Chizuzu. While acknowledging that the application was dismissed as not urgent, it does contain some prima facie evidence of serious deficiencies in the appointment of the nomination court.”

He also said the challenge by Lifelong Footballers’ Trust of Zimbabwe, fronted by former Zifa northern region chairman Francis Zimunya, on Phillip Chiyangwa’s eligibility was not given due attention.

Chiyangwa has received backing from Five-A-Side football, who said he was one of the founder members and held a committee member position at some stage.

“There have been allegations of massive bribery of councillors. Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed Zifa election,” Sambo said.

“A product born out of such controversy will not attract corporate support. Fifa official Primo Carvaro, at the meeting that ousted Cuthbert Dube, warned that Zimbabwe football could disappear altogether if the country doesn’t get their affairs in order and said whoever was going to take over had to be strong as Zimbabwe would not be getting immediate financial assistance from Fifa.”

He added that the current situation did not require a president that would fund the organisation from his pocket.

“We do not need another Dube scenario where the organisation will end up being funded by an individual. The SRC [Sports and Recreation Commission] should have insisted that the elections could not be held before the implementation of the SRC-sponsored Madangure Commission of Inquiry, which recommended the dissolution of the current Zifa Council.”
He said the situation called for the intervention of the Sports minister who should put in place a normalisation committee to run Zifa until 2018.

Hlongwane has since passed a vote of confidence on the electoral process and wants the elections to be carried through.

Sambo, however, said: “During that period, our focus would be on rebranding and putting in place junior football structures. Fifa will not regard this as government interference as we would be putting in place recommendations whose process was derived from our statutes.

“Football in Zimbabwe is the most powerful constituency with more than 10 million supporters. Its destiny cannot be decided upon by 58 councillors who are open to bribery. The Zifa Council needs to be reconstituted with a broader representation that would also include supporters either through their clubs or authentic supporters’ organisations with accountable structures.

“There should be constitutional amendment to accommodate this critical change. The election that brought Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya into office had more than 200 councillors voting. Perhaps, a council of that size could be our starting point.”

Leslie Gwindi, Trevor Carelse-Juul, James Takavada and Chiyangwa are all vying for the Zifa presidential post, while Lincoln Mutasa and Omega Sibanda will tussle it out for the vice-presidency slot.

Ten other candidates are all bidding to fill four other slots in the board.

25 COMMENTS

  1. It’s too little too late, Sambo. Chiyangwa has paid all the councillors $3 000 deposit. The other $3 000 will be paid when Chiyangwa is declared the ‘winner’. He is spending $ 400 000 on bribery alone.

      • My brother (name withheld) is one on the people tasked by Chiyangwa to distribute the bribes. On voting day the councillors have to take a photo of the ‘X’ on the ballot paper to show how they voted. Then they will be given the balance. All in all its $ 6 000 per councillor. Eddie Mbhoma Nyatanga was given his full $ 3 500 after he made the video with PC. Gwindi and Juul are wasting time.

        • @Rwaivhi you are a big liar. The councillors are not being paid that much by Philip.I heard its $2 000 only per councillor. Why lie to people zvinhu zviripachena kudaro?

          • What do you mean “zvinhu zviri pachena?” Pachena papi? Was the USD2000-00 bribe publicized or its people like you who are either recipients or distributors of the bribe who are in the know? Aren’t you ashamed to even argue about the quantum whilst acknowledging that there is bribery going on? Whatever happened to good old “shame?”.

          • @Max Kufakwejeyi you a just a jealous. You also want the $ 2000 but you are not a ZIFA chancellor. Ha ha ha ha ha….

          • The bribery money is kept at Chiyangwa’s offices on Enterprise Road. I understand some of the councillors are now getting BP in anticipation. One has already put a small deposit on a Spacio (new shape).

  2. Who was electing them before.the problem with soccer has nothing to do with ZIFA.The premier soccer league clubs destroyed soccer a long time ago.i think this is much ado about nothing.

  3. Leslie Gwindi and Takavada have no money to pay bribes. So the battle is between Juul and Chiyangwa. Let’s see who forks out more mullah.

  4. Before the voting day the councillors will be taken to Warren Hills cemetery for a ritual. They will be given ‘anointing oil’ and a special voting pen by Chiyangwa’s personal n’ganga, Chamunorwa Chiwanza. Afterwards, they will be taken to a mysterious big house in Domboshawa to meet Chiyangwa’s money-making snake.

  5. For the love of the beautiful game Sambo is dead rite. Here is a voice of reason pliz those with powers listen to this man. Its not late the Sports Minister can still rescue us from this mess. It should not be the responsibility of the ZIFA president to fund the association from his pocket

  6. Four of the councillors from the Souther Region (names withheld) were taken by one of Chiyangwa’s ZECO Bulawayo managers to Botswana for a shopping spree on November 14. They were each given $1 800 spending money and went with their wives, chauffeur-driven in that big disco bus of Chiyangwa’s. On Sunday another five councillors from Harare will be taken to Meikles for dinner by Chiyangwa himself.

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  8. Sambo and Chizuzu are unhappy that they have been elbowed out of the recipients team hence their efforts to stop the elections.Where were they when Dube was running Zifa like his tuckshop.Why did they failed to unearth the can of worms after Dube bribed his way to the Zifa post.They kept quiet because they bennefitted.We don’t mind leave, Chiyangwa or Juul to rule for those two years they open your mouth in 2018.We are sick and tied of people who as long as they benefit ,they see no evil and hear no evil only to talk when they are affected.The fact that you were once sports scribes or football administrators at one time does not means that you a right to disrupt progress being charted by the new minister.Right now people are busy with these elections preparations at th expense of the national team which will be competing in January 2016 and to you it does not matter so shut up if you have nothing to contribute positively.

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