Zifa, nation pay price for impunity

News that a Zifa board member, a couple of players and an assistant coach were caught in a match-fixing storm came as a bombshell, but in reality, this should have been expected.

NewsDay Comment

The manner the Asiagate scandal was handled and the pardons dished out in the aftermath were ominous, as it created a belief that people could do whatever they wanted and get away with it.

Failure by Zifa and the nation to deal conclusively with the fixed Asian matches created a culture where people thought they could get away with anything and in so doing, a culture of impunity has been inculcated in some at the helm of the football mother body.

The former Zifa board botched up investigations into Asiagate, while its successor, led by Phillip Chiyangwa, chose populism and decided to pardon the principal players accused of one of the most heinous crimes in sport, match-fixing.

Instead of passing the most deterrent and severest of penalties against the crimes, Zifa chose to pussy-foot around match-fixing and pardoned the chief perpetrators, while the unlucky ones got away with little more than a rap on the knuckles and now it has come back to haunt the football governing body.

We are not passing judgment on those who have been accused of trying to fix the Swaziland-Zimbabwe match, but we insist that had the matter been handled better and more authoritatively, match-fixing would not be an issue in Zimbabwean football today.

The Zifa board did well to suspend Edzai Kasinauyo for his alleged role in match-fixing and we hope the investigations to follow are conclusive and if he is guilty, he deserves his just desserts.

The manner we have handled our football so far is a mirror image of how the country is governed, where a blind eye is turned to impunity and corruption and the rest of the country is left to pay for the failure by authorities to stamp their foot.

As it is, the nation is still grappling with claims that $15 billion worth of diamonds was looted by foreign companies, but instead of anyone being brought to book, it seems this issue will die a natural death and be forgotten.

This government’s legacy is one of aiding and abetting corruption.

Back to Zifa, it is fair to say, like many others, we were sceptical of Chiyangwa’s presidency of the organisation, but he has a chance to make a mark in history and be remembered as the person who brought a new broom to the association.

We hope everyone implicated in this sordid episode is made to account and those that are guilty are prosecuted and banned from football for life, with no prospect of the bans being lifted. We are tired of a few bad apples spoiling the cart for the rest of the nation.

Zifa and Chiyangwa, the ball is in your court and your legacy is at stake, do the right thing.

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  1. Im more concerned about corruption of police officers and heads of parastatals milking the citizens of their hard earned cash. Un roadworthy vehicles and unlicensed drivers driving public vehicles. To me this is more serious than this matchfixing. Im not condoning it but the truth is nobody died because a match was fixed. What do u expect in a country were corruption is everywere. U need to pay a bribe to get a provisional license. Its bribes all the way. You can get away with anything except ofcourse denigrating the first family.

  2. I think the writer conveniently forgot the facts pertaining to the asia-gate scandal or allowed emotion to overcome logic. The reason Chiyangwa arrived at his decision to write off the initial case was that it was botched up and going nowhere as FIFA had declined to affirm it. Even some of the culprits had had field days in our courts due to the bungling on the investigations. That said lets separate issues when we write stories unless common facts are compelling in which case I don’t see it in this story of soccer and diamonds.

  3. Is it worthy US$15billion Marange diamonds?

  4. Ungakunda sei muoffice mave natsuro magenga phidza. hapana chaunoronga asati akubata.

  5. meso meso,i dont think there is anything wrong with the writers story&mentioning the issue of the missing gems.its just an example of how similar things@a broader note have been handled previously including asia gate u talking of.its more of a request for the current administration to put to an end of these corupt activetities within our game&society@large as a demostration that it can be stoped&its a crime.chiyangwa&crew do all it takes 2weed out who ever was involved in this&should be baned forever anywere on the globe or prosecuted for their greedyness.

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