Women football fights intensify ahead of elections

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THE brutal fight over control of women football has got nastier after three officials, Miriam Sibanda, Ben Mamoche and Edwin Magosvongwe, were earlier this week picked up by police to answer charges of misappropriating a donation given to the Mighty Warriors by a local mining company.

BY HENRY MHARA

The trio was in April this year suspended by the women football councillors pending a disciplinary procedure and determination over a cocktail of criminal accusations, including the abuse of a $20 000 donation to the Mighty Warriors for an All Africa Games qualifier against Ghana.

Sibanda denied the allegations and even published an advert in the Press showing how she used the money.

Sibanda was the women football chairperson, while Mamoche and Magosvongwe were board members for development and finance, respectively.

Elizabeth Langa, formerly Sibanda’s vice, was elected to take over as the interim chairperson, while Cecilia Gambe filled her position.

There have been power struggles between the two camps to assume control since then, with Sibanda’s faction fighting the suspension, particularly with the Zifa elections coming up early next month.

Women football has a seat reserved in the Zifa board.

MIRIAM-SIBANDA-FOOTBALL

Langa’s camp this week reported Sibanda and her group to the police on fraud charges, where they were asked to produce evidence on how they used the money. A docket, case number 315/11/15 has since been opened and investigations are ongoing. Langa is cited as the complainant in the case at Harare Central Police Station.

Langa could not be reached for a comment yesterday.

Mamoche, however, confirmed being picked up by the police on Monday, but refused to shed more light.

“Yes we went to Harare Central Police Station on Monday, but I can’t go further than that, since the matter is with the police,” he said.

A source, however, said Langa reported the case to stop Sibanda from meeting Fifa representative Ashford Mamelodi, who was in the country on Monday to get an appraisal on the preparations for the association’s December 5 elections.

“Mamelodi was here and wanted to meet both parties, so Langa tried to make sure Sibanda would not be able to meet him, and she succeeded,” said the source.

Tension between the two camps has been growing in recent weeks and earlier this month, Gambe attempted to have Sibanda ejected from a meeting organised by the Sports Recreation Commission, where Zifa presidential aspirant, Phillip Chiyangwa was handing over a $10 000 donation to the Mighty Warriors for qualifying to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She was, however, reprimanded by SRC director general Charles Nhemachena.