ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa (pictured) could be running football in the country illegally, with the complete disregard of the football governing body’s constitution.
NewsDaySport can reveal that the resignation of two former executive members Felton Kamambo and Piraishe Mabhena on March 29, and the subsequent failure to co-opt two more members to the board, left Chiyangwa’s executive illegitimate.
BY HENRY MHARA
The resignations by the pair left Zifa with only three executive members in Chiyangwa, his vice Omega Sibanda and board member (finance), Philemon Machana, short of the required quorum to run the body.
Zifa executive committee operated with five members, following the death of Edzai Kasinauyo last year, while the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and women football seats in the board, were vacant.
According to the Zifa constitution, when 50% of the posts in the executive committee become vacant, the general secretary, (Joseph Mamutse) automatically takes over the reins and arranges for elections within two months.
Article 32.10 of the constitution gives a clear guideline of what should happen when such a scenario occurs.
“If more than 50% of the positions should become vacant, the general secretary shall convene an extraordinary congress within two months in order to elect a replacement for the remaining term of mandate under the supervision of the electoral committee according to the Zifa electoral code.”
Following the double resignations, Chiyangwa tried to circumvent the football statutes by immediately co-opting members from the PSL in boss, Keni Mubaiwa and women football chairperson, Rosemary Kanonge.
This was in stark violation of section 35 of the constitution, which deals with “executive decisions”. It does not give him such powers.
“The Executive Committee shall not engage in valid debate unless more than 50% of its members are present.”
The decision to co-opt members was made after only three members, less than the required quorum, were left in the executive board.
More so, it’s not the executive board that cherry picks representatives from the PSL and women football.
According to section 32, which outlines the composition of the executive committee, the two members should be given the mandate by their respective organs and then installed by the congress.
Section 32.1(iii) states that: “One member representing the Premier Soccer League, appointed by the Premier Soccer League and installed by the Congress.
With (iv) saying: “One member representing women’s football, appointed by the Zimbabwe Women Soccer League and installed by the congress.”
Mubaiwa, to his credit, turned down the offer, noting the constitutional anomaly in his appointment while Kanonge is yet to publicly state her position.
However, women football sources said that they will resist the attempt by Chiyangwa to impose a representative on them, vowing to recall Kanonge should she accept the appointment.
The Harare businessman has been clinging to power since the expiry of his and the entire executive committee’s term on March 29, claiming that he was waiting for “guidance” from Fifa on the way forward.
Chiyangwa, instead of organising an elective congress at the expiry of his tenure, decided to approach the Zurich-based organisation ostensibly to assist him in resolving the constitutional crisis that has been created.
Fifa on their part, have been suspiciously dragging their feet on giving a position that will provide clarity on the way forward, especially in view of the confusion and turmoil obtaining in local football since March 29.
Questions sent to Fifa by this publication were yet to be responded to.
Sibanda, a strong Chiyangwa ally, a fortnight ago said Fifa had promised them a response on March 31, but since then, there has been a deafening silence.
Football stakeholders are meeting this week in Harare to ramp up pressure on Chiyangwa to step down.
A circular by the organisers indicated the event to be held tomorrow in Harare, will be attended by more than 100 officials.
Included on the guest list are the Sports and Recreation Commission officials, former Zifa presidents Vincent Pamire, Trevor Carelse Juul, Cuthbert Dube and Rafik Khan; ex-board members, honorary members, retired footballers, women football members, youth football, the refereeing fraternity, coaches unions, supporters associations, former national team coaches, zifa creditors, club owners, former administrators and former national team managers.
Issues to be discussed at the meeting include, the state of football in the country and the “recommended way forward.”
The group is expected to tour Zifa properties after the meeting.