THERE is no end in sight for the Zifa circus after the association’s beleaguered president Philip Chiyangwa yesterday provisionally banned some of his predecessors for questioning his legitimacy.
BY HENRY MHARA
A group of former Zifa presidents, who include Trevor Carelse-Juul, Vincent Pamire and Rafik Khan, led a meeting of football stakeholders on Thursday in Harare and formed a committee to challenge the legitimacy of the current Zifa leadership led by Chiyangwa, whom they accused of running football affairs in the country illegally following the expiry of their term of office on March 29.
However, Chiyangwa has reacted vindictively to the latest manoeuvres by football stakeholders who have asked him to step down and allow for elections as per the association’s constitution.
He announced in a Press statement yesterday that he had provisionally expelled the trio and other participants of the meeting for allegedly trying to topple him.
The latest development could be viewed as a move by the Harare businessman to ruthlessly deal with possible opponents, in the event that Zifa elections to elect new leadership, are eventually called.
Interestingly though, the meeting by the Zifa committee, that supposedly sat to expel the members, was improperly constituted, and has no legal standing to make such a decision.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has provisionally expelled Trevor Carelse-Juul, Eusebio Maseko, Rafiq Khan and Vincent Pamire from partaking in any association football-related activities in Zimbabwe for violating the Zifa constitution. The resolution was unanimously made by the Zifa executive committee at its meeting on the 13th of April 2018, citing the above individuals’ gross violations of the Zifa constitution and their establishment of parallel structures in an attempt to usurp power from constitutionally elected officials,” Zifa said in a statement.
Chiyangwa also accused the expelled of intransigently violating articles 2(e and f), and 7 of the constitution, as well as “peddling falsehoods and unfounded allegations” against his leadership.
“Accordingly, the expelled officials cease to be members of the football family and are not allowed to associate with or represent any bona fide member of the football family.”
Article 2(e) and (f) of Zifa constitution, which deals with the association objectives, allows for members to “respect and prevent any infringement of the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of Fifa, Caf, and Zifa as well as the laws of the game,” while section (f) seeks to “prevent all methods of practices which might jeopardise the integrity of matches or competitions or give rise to abuse of association football, in particular match manipulation and corruption.”
Article 7 states that: “The bodies and officials of Zifa must observe the statutes, regulations, directives, decisions and the code of ethics of Fifa, Caf/Cosafa and of Zifa in their activities.”
The Zifa executive committee is currently made up of three members in Chiyangwa, his vice, Omega Sibanda, and board member finance Philemon Machana, short of a required quorum to expel any member or to make such valid decisions, as per Article 32 of the constitution, which states that: “The Executive Committee shall not engage in valid debate unless more than 50% of its members are present.”
Zifa executive committee operated with five members, out of eight, following the death of Edzai Kasinauyo last year, while the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and women football seats in the board, were vacant.
Two executive members Felton Kamambo and Piraishe Mabhena then resigned on March 29, and the subsequent failure by Chiyangwa to co-opt two more members to the board, left his executive illegitimate.
According to the Zifa constitution, when 50% of the posts in the executive committee become vacant, the general-secretary, Joseph Mamutse has to automatically take over the reins and arrange for elections within two months.
Chiyangwa and the two other members have, however, been clinging on to power, in complete disregard of the football governing body’s constitution especially Article 32.10 which states that: “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.
Mubaiwa turned down the appointment, noting the constitutional anomaly while Kanonge told NewsDay Sport yesterday that she is yet to accept the offer.
Caresle-Juul and company were in a meeting with the Sports and Recreation Commission for guidance on the way forward, when their expulsion was announced.