ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has declared that there will be no elections for his position or the executive committee this year since they have only served half of their four-year term.
by KEVIN MAPASURE
This comes after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), through its acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere, wrote to Zifa directing them to hold elections next month and Chiyangwa hit back at the supreme sports body, saying that they had no business issuing “illegal” directives to the football mother body.
It was believed that Chiyangwa wanted the elections to be held towards the end of the year, which some quarters were resisting, but yesterday he dropped a bombshell, saying that there will be no elections until he completes a full four-year term.
Chiyangwa was elected into office on December 5 of 2015, following the removal of Cuthbert Dube who still had four years remaining on his term
Had Dube completed his term, elections would have been due this year. Chiyangwa said when he was elected this year he was given a four-year term which is provided for in the constitution, and rubbished the assertion that his was to complete Dube’s term.
Zifa lawyer Itai Ndudzo explained that there was a misconception of the term of office for Chiyangwa and his executive committee.
“What people should understand is that there are no by-elections at Zifa. The Zifa constitution and the Zifa electoral code are the only documents that guide Zifa elections,” Ndudzo said. “The SRC Act chapter 20.25 provides that an association must register its constitution and statues with the SRC. Once the SRC register the constitution it must be respected by both the SRC and the association. Zifa’s position is that the SRC is violating the SRC Act and Zifa Statues by issuing illegal and baseless Press statements and directives on the Zifa elections. The Zifa elections are provided for in the Zifa constitution and the Zifa electoral code. There is no mention of the SRC anywhere in the Zifa constitution or the Zifa electoral code. The SRC has no role in the organisation of the Zifa elections.”
Ndudzo said in the constitution there is no provision for a term which is less than four years, hence the current leadership will stay in their positions until such time their full term has lapsed, which is in 2020.
“Article 25 of the Zifa constitution states that; The electoral committee organises and supervises the election process and takes all decisions relating to the election according to the Zifa electoral code. For the elections of the president of Zifa, the respective provisions in Article 38 of these statues shall apply. What does Article 38 say? The president shall be elected by the congress for a period of four years. His mandate shall begin after the end of the congress which has elected him. A president may be re-elected once. It further states that; If the president is permanently prevented from performing his official function and his position becomes vacant, the vice president shall represent him until the next congress. This congress shall elect a new president if necessary. This means that when Chiyangwa was elected he came in as a new president and he wasn’t coming in to complete Dube’s term, he earned himself four years in office. So there are no elections for the Zifa president of any other office in the organisation this year.”
Ndudzo challenged the SRC to point out in the constitution where there is a provision for a term less than four years.
“We challenge anyone to show us where it says the term of office for Chiyangwa is for a period of less than four years. It is the same with the executive committee, elections are not yet due, the current committee is only half way through their term of office. They were elected in December of 2015. Anyone calling for elections this year is ignorant of the Zifa Constitution and the Zifa electoral code. People should read and stop waffling. The SRC is violating the constitution and they are also interfering, which the government is not allowed to do.”
Article 2.2 of the Zifa electoral code reads; “Government interference of any kind in the electoral process or composition of the elective body (congress) of Zifa is not permitted. Consequently, government rules on elections shall not apply to the elected internal bodies of Zifa and the electoral rules of Zifa shall not require the approval of any government body.”
Chiyangwa wrote a letter to the SRC complaining of the supreme sports body’s interference is Zifa electoral matters.
He said that he had been targeted by Muchechetere and Edward Siwela, who is the SRC board chairman, yet the same body had kept its quiet as the previous Zifa leadership took football to the drain.
“Mr Siwela and Mr Muchechetere are strongly cautioned to to cease forthwith interfering with matters within the exclusive authority of Zifa. The two gentleman do not hold any elected football office and must not bring sanctions to the whole nation due to their insatiable craving for control and abuse of office. Any decision they purpote to be making on behalf of Zifa must be formaly addressed to the Zifa secretariat and duly accompanied with relevant resolutions to enable Zifa to exercise its powers of appeal in terms of section 32 of the SRC Act,” part of Chiyangwa’s letter reads.